Yo-Yo Ma on Citizen Artists

Yo- ­Yo Ma on Citizen Artists

Defining “Citizen Artist”

Citizen Artists operate at the edge of artistic innovation and human need. In other words, they bridge the gap between what we know as ‘high’ or ‘community’ art.

“High” art  is primarily focused on artistic discourse, artistic excellence and the promotion of art for art’s sake. It is generally unconcerned with the specific societal  impact it makes.

“Community” Art, alternatively,  primarily focuses  on active social impact. For example, when  teaching at risk children music, the teacher places the children and their learning experience at the forefront rather than the music produced.

Citizen Artists’ initiatives place both aspects at the forefront: they are artistically excellent  and impact driven, employing artistic innovation to create social or civic impact.  To put it in the words of Yo ­Yo Ma: “They transcend technique in order to seek out the truths in our world in a way that gives meaning and sustenance to individuals and communities.”

In short, Citizen Artists’ initiatives can take many forms, but all have one common aspect that sets them apart–using their extensive training and experience to employ artistic innovation while engaging  with issues that maximize social and/or civic impact. HERE some examples of Citizen Artists in action.

Copyright Citizen Artist Incubator 2016