|A few years ago, I worked for a symphony orchestra in Wisconsin. As an employee, I went to each concert and always invited a friend along. One of the concert weekends, I asked my friend Alex if he'd like to join me for a concert. He politely thanked me for the offer, but said he did not like orchestral music. I asked Alex when the last time he had been to a concert was, to which he replied, "never." After a little bit of prodding, he agreed to join me for the symphony's Friday evening concert. |
After the performance, Alex was singing a different tune. It was he who was astounded by the music he had heard and by the abilities of the musicians he had witnessed. He couldn’t believe their artistic skill and told me that he’d happily join me for another concert anytime.
So I asked myself: what assisted in this 180-degree change in my friend? The answer: the buddy system. We learn it in grade school, but it is truly the means by which to experience arts and culture in a fun and exciting way. So the next time you are headed to an art gallery, museum, performance, or any other artistic or cultural event, invite a friend along. You may be surprised what comes of the experience.
-- Abby Ballain, ICCA Executive Director