World Art Day 2020: Sharing Creativity in Isolation

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On April 15, 2020, we decided to host a public video conference call to share creativity and inspiration during a time of uncertainty. We invited artists of all ages and specialties to share their work.  

The formal presenters included: 

  • Sweet N Sour – a singing, sibling trio from Columbus, OH
  • Elizabeth “Like” Lokon – a visual artist and the Founder and Director of OMA 
  • Samuel Van Vleet – Instrumental musician and graduate student at Miami University
  • Gary Glazner – Founder and Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project
  • Robin Glazer – Director of The Creative Center 
  • Judith-Kate Friedman – Founder and Director of Songwriting Works
  • Alex D’Errico-Bronston – DIY-er and graduate student at Miami University
  • Judith Sachs – Dance teacher and the Founder of Anyone Can Dance, based on Dance for PD (Parkinson’s Disease)

We wrapped up the session by allowing audience members to share their creativity. It was great fun for all!

Here is the video of the entire session:

Presenters and audience members also contributed other resources. Below are some video tutorials from Art for the Journey in Richmond, VA: 

Following the event, some presenters have also allowed us to re-share their work.

Sweet N Sour uploaded their COVID-19 musical hit to their Facebook page.  

Like Lokon shared the artwork she’s created using newspaper headlines and other collage pieces (below).  

Judith-Kate Friedman from Port Townsend, WA, shared a poem titled “Forsythia” and the lyrics to a song called “Moon in a Window.” You can listen to the song here and read the poem below.

Others shared literature and poems they felt connected to. Michael Clark from Berkeley, CA shared his poem during the event: 

IN THE NURSERY
I’m nearly 80 but my wife and
The servants look after me as
If I were a child of about 4.
I’ve forgotten how to read so
they read aloud to me, stories
About Babar the elephant and
Other animals that I like.
I eat what they put before me
But yesterday I spat out on
The table something I didn’t
Like. Toys are borrowed for me
To play with from a neighbor’s
Children. I like best a little
Yellow car that will run across
The floor if I wind it up. They
Took me to get my hair cut; the
Barber gave me a lollipop to
Keep me quiet from wiggling.
Today they gave me a pad and
Crayons to draw with. I’ve
Drawn all the animals I know;
A dog with five legs by mistake
Made them laugh. It’s hard for
Me to remember. I know my name
Is Jack, they call me that but
What’s the rest of it? One
Day I heard them talking about
Me and the doctor who comes
To see me now and then. They
Said he said I should be
Myself again in a few more
Weeks, just keep him quiet
And be patient with him.
– James Laughlin. 1994

As we find ways of coping and moving through this period in time together, let’s remember how art provides an outlet for hope and connection.

“Against the ruin of the world, there is only one defense — the creative act.”  – Kenneth Rexroth, 1951, American poet