But why do we embrace the world of the arts and make it a part of our life? What impact do we feel it has on the world? Well we all have our own personal responses to these questions and we all do it for different reasons.
For me, I believe the arts provides an 'escape' for some, therapy if you will, from the pressures of everyday life. Of course this is as a consumer. A good piece of work will transport me from my current reality to wherever the story is taking me at the time. I find this applies wandering through a gallery, taking in the journey the artist is expressing; relaxing at a music gig; or becoming a fly on the wall of a particular scenario in theatre. I love it even more when these different forms are combined, such as watching theatre in a forest at Latitude Festival where the design & atmosphere makes all the difference. I'm so lucky that my job means the occasional attendance at events, but I do love it enough that I also buy tickets to all sorts of things. In fact I'm off to a comedy gig tonight that a friend is running as a monthly night - showcasing up & coming comedians. Such events are the life blood of aspiring comedians.
A similar escape can be found by those performing or creating too. Dancers express themselves, musicians tell a story, all through their own mediums. Sharing a voice, sharing knowledge, sharing ideas. An escape from day to day pressures, such pressures are often transformed in to an expression - informing and influencing their work every step of the way. Life shapes who we are, and who we are shapes our art. Then in turn, our art helps to shape who we are and what we do. And with any luck our art helps shape the opinions, expressions and gratitudes of those around us. Whether it's a truly emotional song or light relief from a sketch comedy trio.
We can all list 'movers and shakers' in the arts world. Watching "The Big Fat Quiz of the Year" is not only a past time with comedy and anarchy, but a chance to realise the actors, trends, musicians and performers who have shaped the world each year. In 2015 the mystery guest was a woman who took a picture of "The Dress" - some people see it as white & gold, other people see it as blue & black. Starkly different, a simple photo, but online the world went berserk over the mystery behind it. That's an influence of fashion, arguably an influence of photography, but most importantly an indictment of how the world can still embrace surprises and collectively voice their opinion.
Beyond this we pick up performers like Adele and Miley Cyrus say - each (and many more) who have set new trends whether we like it or not. Beliebers are born and whole new fandoms are created which has a profound impact on the childhood of many. My generation was more about Busted, McFly, The Spice Girls, Shakira and Girls Aloud (along with many more) but now you see Bieber, Little Mix, Ed Sheehan, MNEK and Years In Years - again just a few making it big over the past couple of years. Maybe this is more celebrity than arts. But let's not forget the underlying talent they all posses and the sense of community they inspire among followers.
So how do you change the world with art? Well it's simple. You do what you love, you put it out there and inspire people to change, follow your message or create their own responses. What might start out as a 2-way conversation can go viral and become a time when you inspire thousands, that's the ability today of the internet (although please embrace with some caution and sensibility).
Working on a piece for your Gold Arts Award - Part A of Unit 1 - is one way you start on this journey. Creating a new piece of work inspired by at least 2 art forms and that you've had help to create. Then you share this new work publicly (perhaps on a blog here on voice). Maybe the underlying part of this work is a key message or an expression of emotion that can inspire others.
A Unit 2 leadership project has miles and miles of potential for changing the world through art. Maybe it's inspiring young designers with a design (& technology) club at school (I've had 2 students do this over the past year), or bringing together multiple groups for a public performance and showcasing what can be achieved with some innovation & creativity in the middle of a shopping centre (another great idea a member of the Youth Network is pursuing for her Gold).
You might also inspire change with a an excellent Opinion Piece (for Unit 1 Part D of Gold) exploring the value of creativity in education, the status of the music industry or how copyright is affecting innovation in writing say. With so many topics to choose from for your opinion piece I believe it can have a profound affect on the understanding & beliefs surrounding a particular topic - just like any other blogger, a following can soon become activists.
I've gone on a bit. Sorry.
Art means so much to so many different people. The affect it has varies, and is 'in the eye of the beholder' both as a creator and as an observer.
Whichever way you engage with the arts world, just keep doing it. Share your voice. And you will change the world around you in some way.