A Field Trip with Loring Nicollet Alternative School
By: Christine Weber
April 9, 2018
Last month, I had the opportunity to join in on my first event as a new member of the Good Arts Collective. To be totally honest, I found myself oddly nervous as I got ready that morning. In a strange way, there is a small part of me that's still afraid of high school kids thinking I'm uncool. These students would be coming into the space to see just little snippets of what each of us members do as artists, and it's surprising how vulnerable it can be to do your thing in front of a bunch of too-cool high schoolers. In the midst of my anxieties, I realized I was afraid I'd be walking into the old trope of a school talent show, and that I was about to get myself jeered off the stage.
But when I arrived to help set up, I was relieved to feel the ease that the other GAC memberspossessed. It was very clear that this was not a talent show, but rather an intentional little glimpse into the world of 'living as artist', and that these students were not coming to be “taught” or “shown” anything...they were there to experience that it's possible to live your whole life, create, and forge your own way in this increasingly wild world. The idea that sharing your gifts, your skills, your craft, with other people is indeed vulnerable; but feeling vulnerable does not inherently mean being unsafe. To open the door and see the flood of students enter our little space, we were able to welcome their own experiences and gifts into our little corner of the world. While some of the group was up in the recording studio, I stayed downstairs in the Red Room where several of us shared slivers of our work: JØUR sang Revolution, an original song that resonated deeply, especially given the current political and social landscape; Damon and I did Bad Audition/Good Audition, to illustrate the power of speaking up and holding your own; Kalen did a crash course in puppetry, offering people the chance to get up, connect with another being, and bring life and laughter into a room.
When the time came for question and answer, it was beautiful to see that so many of these younger people already were in touch with aspects of their own creative selves. Much like the rest of us, they're each just finding their own voice, focus, and practice. My first foray into events with Good Arts Collective offered me great faith in the generations of artists and citizens on their way into the world, and it reminded me of the beauty of this artists' life: we are all traveling alongside each other, getting stronger and bolder with each step; fortified by those that came before, and turning up the soil bit by bit for those behind us.
I can't wait to do this again next year, and see once again how incredibly the “too-cool” students will inspire, embrace, and enrich us at the Good Arts Collective. Hopefully we can come close to doing the same for them.