Fine Arts

What is the role of art in society?
Answered by Brenda Way and Alexa Meade
  •  Brenda Way

    Brenda Way

  • Alexa Meade

    Alexa Meade

  1. Brenda Way Founder and Artistic Director, Oberlin Dance Collective


    I would have said the biggest surprise to me is that being together is one of the greatest contributions we can make now, given all of the alone activity that people have on the 'net. That actually coming together around something physical and human, who would have ever guessed that would be a contribution? But I think that is a contribution now. It is a kind of visceral community building. Not community-building, that's wrong. It's a way of being together and caring that we don't have as part of our lives in the way we once did. I suppose the church used to do that, extended families used to do that, all of these systems have changed, I would say. So in the performing arts, I think we stand in for some of those things.

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  2. Alexa Meade Interdisciplinary Artist

    I think that art is important partially because it's always up for interpretation. Every person who stands in front of a canvas will have a different response to it. There will be, let's say, perhaps one response that the artist was hoping for, but then sometimes it can create the exact opposite in people. It creates this common shared experience, of us all maybe looking at the same thing, but then taking away different aspects from it and different interpretations. All these people together have this shared experience and yet it opens up broader discourse about where we're going with it and how it reflects upon us individually and then us collectively.

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