Would you stop and listen? Or would you walk by too?
The occasional street performer is a part of the cityscape of most urban areas, but can art transcend the monotony of our daily commute? Washington Post wanted so see whether commuters at one of the District's busiest metro stations would stop and make time for art in their lives. Specifically, they placed Joshua Bell, violin virtuoso, who two days before filled Boston's Symphony Hall at $100 seat, could rise above the din of the daily grind. The full article can be read on the Washington Post website, written by Gene Weingarten (April 8, 2007) Pearls Before Breakfast, (reader beware: it is LONG, but worth the time). It came to my attention through the Emerging Leader listserv, where it created quite a stir.
- Are we cultured to think that "art" only comes with an admission ticket?
- If we are to make art more accessible, does more need to be done to challenge people's assumptions about where art does and does not occur?
- How have some cities have cultivated public's perceptions of street art better than others?
- What does this piece say about us as individuals, artists, art enthusiasts and a nation of arts participants (or potential participants). And, what does it say we need to be doing, but are not?
I contacted Gene Weingarten and he replied, "Yeah, this story went international. The Times of London did their own version (same result); I've gotten literally thousands of emails from around the world."
Where did this story take you?