By Elaine Sorrentino
For the third consecutive year, South Shore Conservatory (SSC) participated in MASSCreative’s Arts Matter Day to publicly express why the arts matter to us. Created as a vehicle for showing our legislators the importance of the arts to all populations, Arts Matter Day allowed us to crow about how the arts make a difference in our personal lives.
SSC was one of 640 participating arts and cultural organizations and individuals. Among the other organizations who joined us in posting photos and videos on social media were the Museum of Fine Arts, Longy School of Music, Artists for Humanity, Arts Boston and BosTix, Oliver Ames High School, the Clark Institute of Art, BU Arts Initiative, Boston Lyric Opera, Institute of Contemporary ARtBoston, and a host of others. Parents, students, faculty and staff members took pen to paper, taking stock of their many reasons for needing the arts in their lives.
SSC moms were perhaps the most passionate about their love for the arts. They see the difference the arts make to their children every day. Music Together® moms wrote that the arts matter to them because they shape their children’s lives, and instill a sense of wonder in their children. Preschool mom Lara Thompson said “the joy of singing and learning to play music last a lifetime.” An active member of SSC’s Woman Song ensemble, Lara would know!
Other young moms chose less wordy responses to the question of how music makes them feel. “ALIVE!” and “like dancing” and “like breathing!” were all testaments to the power of the arts in helping us learn, express and be human.
At the Hingham Senior Center, our adult ukulele students proved that the benefits of the arts doesn’t stop at childhood. As they posed for a picture, proudly displaying their ukuleles, these seniors shared that the arts matter to them because they give them great joy. And this statement gave their instructor John McCarthy great joy!
Our Director of Performance Beth MacLeod Largent had the most unique and musical affirmation of the arts. In her lovely, operatic voice, she crooned, “The #Arts Matter at SSC there is no doubt, just take a look and you will see! Children learn things much faster, from colors to ABC, adults love to make music too, alone or in a group, it’s about community.”
Perhaps the most poignant testimonial was made by SSC President Kathy Czerny who eloquently articulated that the arts are important because they remind us of the way in which we’re the same, rather than the ways in which we’re different! I love this very simple and true statement. Whether you’re a lover of music, dance, theater or visual arts, shared moments of experiencing the arts unites us all.
These experiences don’t begin and end in cultural settings. As the National Anthem, Sweet Caroline, or Take Me Out to the Ballgame plays at sporting events, everyone unites in song. I recall at the 2016 Rio Olympics, when Jamaica’s gold medal sprinter Usain Bolt paused his moment in the limelight, upon hearing the first few notes of The Star Spangled Banner, and requested that the reporter show respect and stand with him in silence to honor the U.S. National Anthem. It was a powerful music-inspired moment.
We here at South Shore Conservatory can’t imagine our life without the arts. Can you? To learn more about SSC programs and events, visit sscmusic.org or find us on Facebook.
Elaine Sorrentino is South Shore Conservatory’s Communications Director.