I woke up today feeling excessively anxious about my AP English exam today. On top of that anxiety, I did not get a sufficient amount of sleep which only added to the stress of taking a high level exam. So, like a typical teenager, I went on instagram to try calm my nerves.
The usual, of course. Food pics… news… birthday posts… obnoxious memes… obnoxious people…
Anyway, I was scrolling for about five minutes until I came across my friend Malena’s spam account informing us that she had started a blog. Malena (Millie for short) is one of my best friends’ (Lily) best friend from California whom I met a little less than a year ago when she came to visit Austin. We quickly bonded a little later that year when she came to visit for a Thanksgiving party at Lily’s house. I checked Millie’s snapchat after I saw her post and she tagged me saying that I inspired her to start her own blog as a means of staying in touch and getting creative!
Y’all. When I tell you my heart jumped…
This is the exact response I was trying to evoke out of my audience! I want everyone to realize that art is so much more than a class you can take in school to earn credit. There is so much truth in creativity and Millie recognized it and made it a reality! How can you truly understand the world if you don’t even try to acknowledge the means that created it? I understand the difficulty in finding the nuances in art, I truly do, but art is what improves the world, it is also – as Millie put it – a way to stay connected through a large space. No matter where you go, art will always be humanity’s ubiquitous language.
Coincidentally, my AP Exam was about the critical role that art plays in society. Moreover, it was a writing prompt asking us to analyze the rhetorical strategies that John F. Kennedy used to convey the importance of art in society through a speech he gave at Amherst College. Kennedy wrote about how artists often reveal the truth in their work because they viewed the world as grounds of constant improvement. He discusses the role that art plays in nourishing our culture and our minds through grace and beauty which he believes is the way to better our nation.
You know what, he was absolutely right.
Artists see the world as one giant ball of potential and their goal is to create as much originality as possible to fill that potential. Take Thomas Paine, for example. In his pamphlet, “Common Sense,” he wrote about how it was necessary that the U.S had to break away from its (at the time) abusive mother country, England. Even though this wasn’t the groundbreaking push that sparked the American Revolution, Paine’s Enlightenment ideals recognized the true potential that the thirteen colonies had and the impossibility of fulfillment if they were to serve England throughout the passage of time.
Without art, maybe we wouldn’t have gained our independence and recognized our natural rights.
Keeping it short and sweet, I have included a couple of unique photos to spark some of that motivation I know you all have.
I believe in all of you. We have more than enough capabilities to change the world and sometimes that latent power emerges through an art form whether it’s writing, painting, singing, photographing, or maybe a new form of art that you invent!!
I believe that there is a song in all of us, we just have to find the right way to sing it.