Thursday, 22 July 2010

Magic - you shape it, you don't make it

A workaday photo of the wonderful Kirkgate Market in Leeds hasn't got anything to do with arts and culture has it? Or at least that's the view taken by most of the folk advising local councils, funding agencies and government. Indeed it's the view taken by many people within the world of arts and culture itself.

But take a look at it. Isn't it a stage - a place oozing with the magic of interaction? A place ripe for an explosion of cultural wow. Why?

Because of the people, because of the audience. Just look closer at the few folk in the picture - people who aren't attending a 'cultural event' out of noblesse oblige or ethnic cringe but are doing the same thing in the same place, experiencing the same pleasure. Sharing the magic.

Tear up the strategies, give up on trying to use the arts as a cipher for better health, community cohesion, regeneration or anything but what they are...the things that animate, excite, challenge and make fun. The magic that - to borrow from Piers Anthony - makes the world something other than mundane.


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