I had the great joy of participating as an artist in this year’s Kent Creativity Festival at Kent State University this year. I was delighted when they had accepted my proposal to have a simple, mini songwriting booth, but when the big date arrived I was overcome with anxiety: “What right did I have? What do I even have to offer these participants anyways? This is going to be a disaster!!! What was I thinking?”
Shortly after I’d set up my outdoor “studio,”a young student named Josie stopped by to do an audio-recorded interview about my “art activity.” We had a nice discussion about the connection between art and health, or in my case, the direct connection between my songwriting and my mental health history. The one question that made me think was this: “What would be my measure that this activity was a success today?”
I guessed that I’d measure the successes by the smiles of the people who walked away inspired by the songwriting we did in the 5 minutes we shared that morning. Or perhaps the twinkle in the eye of a child(or even an adult) who believed for the first time they could DO THIS! If that is my measure, this activity was a splendid success! Parents, kids and grandparents…uncles and aunts….toddlers, teens, college students, and townsfolk all walked away with smiles, while holding their new little songwriting notebook!!
My thoughts about yesterday’s event lead me back to a favorite Maya Angelou quote:
The most important thing about yesterday wasn’t some 4 point presentation for better songwriting, or whether or not I had extensive brochures and handouts, or even the best banner to draw attention to my activity over others. And it wasn’t really about them remembering what I said… it’s about how they felt as they were in the process of creating a song, unique to their story. It was about the sense of pride they took away having accomplished this, and the laughter we shared as we set their creation to rhythm using children’s percussion instruments. It felt fulfilling, and I went home feeling satisfied. Thank you so much to each and every little group that participated yesterday. I know many left encouraged by the experience, but please truly know, that I was the one inspired… by all of you!
On the gig side: We are getting more and more calls from area coffeehouses to play gigs!! Please check back frequently for updates to our Upcoming shows link on the top menu, as well as our Facebook fan page for the latest, most updated news as it comes in:
**********Two gigs on October 14th**************
10/14- Debord Halloween Festival at Lock 3 in Akron (acoustic Stage) at 2pm-3pm
10/14-Cafe O’Play in Stow, Ohio from 5:30-7:30
November 2nd- Morning Owl Coffeehouse in Munroe Falls, Ohio
See you out and about! Thank you for supporting us and our music-making!