Could Arts & Humanities Heal the World?

Rachel Neville Photography Dance Brain

It’s funny; the more inspired by a topic you are, the more you seem to see information or comments about it everywhere you look.  This has been true for me and a recent blog post on how brain patterns affect what we see.

I’ve had some great conversations about this, through blog comments, facebook chats, emails, and even a random subway encounter with a fiction writer I bumped into.  I have purposely kept a completely open mind, hoping that through many other peoples’ experiences a variety of thoughts might crop up.  Indeed they have!

One dancer warned “danger zone, dance psychology is difficult in that all dancers are f..’d up,” another wondered how they could use this information to benefit themselves in moving forward (I sent her the details on the course I took).  I think the most positive conversations I had led me to where some of my own conclusions were going… how can we use this information to “train” or predispose the youth of today to being arts friendly audiences of tomorrow, and in the process give them access to a variety of ways to fully express themselves, letting others do the same?

My conversation with the fiction writer ended too quickly as the train approached my stop, but our thoughts had landed on a more global influence.  Theorizing that people that play together don’t shoot at each other,  that while we are all born with the natural instinct for survival, we didn’t think children began their journey declaring that they wanted to become suicide bombers or terrorists (or perhaps taken on a more local level, school bullies or a corporate CEOs influenced only by profits).  We furthered that the world seemed to be in such a state (or perhaps it has always been in this state, this might just be our lifetime slice of it), in which leaders in all areas are seeming to flounder, that perhaps what we need to look to do is to really change the conversation.  What if we could shift a world wide conversation towards the arts and humanities?

This began a whole new set of questions to add to my previous questions, all boiling down to a similar theme: where do we start?  I have no answers, but I am interested in the conversation and the observation of what will come as I continue to talk about this.

Is it radical act to consider the arts and humanities as a solution?  Is it, as Kimerer LaMonthe proposed recently in Psychology Today, a radical act to dance?

Photos in this blog are of the Renegade Performance Group.

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