Dear Carolina Community,
You are an artist, whether you know it or not. That is the message of today’s seventh annual Arts Everywhere Day, a celebration of all the ways art has an impact on our lives. You can find dance performances, a capella groups, poetry readings, film screenings, interactive workshops and a communal scream at 3 p.m. at South Building.
It’s not always easy to believe you can be an artist — at least, it isn’t for me. I marvel at the talent of singers, dancers, painters, filmmakers, all showing creativity and vision in ways I simply cannot. It’s a joy to see them work. Yet today is about recognizing the ways that each of us contribute to the world’s vibrancy, diversity and beauty by celebrating art. It’s about challenging our assumptions and opening our eyes to new experiences.
Chapel Hill’s Poet Laureate, Cortland Gilliam, describes poetry like this: “it’s the parting of perspective, the sharing of knowledge, the transmission of feeling, the disruption of power, and the cultivation of community.” He’ll be in the Carolina Union at 1 p.m. today, helping cultivate our community and open space for conversation.
Art does that for us — builds emotional ties, sparks intense discussions, elevates our appreciation for life and inspires us to pay closer attention. It’s the reason universities like ours have always prized art as a form of higher learning. Every person in our state needs the joy that art brings as well, and in our role as the nation’s first public university, it is critical for our mission to support the arts for all of North Carolina.
I want to thank Alison Friedman, executive and artistic director at Carolina Performing Arts, and the entire team who have brought today’s events together and done so much to make the University a joyful venue for art and inspiration. I can’t wait to see you there!
Kevin M. Guskiewicz