You are everything. Maybe you’ve seen these words on our 18/19 brochure cover, or splashed across the front of Memorial Hall as you were driving by, and wondered “What exactly does that mean?”
Here at Carolina Performing Arts, we’ve been considering the phrase a lot. In fact, it’s the theme of our new season. As we see it, small communities are created every time people gather to watch one of our performances. And in the years since we first opened, we’ve grown, both figuratively and literally. We’ve made spaces like CURRENT, which invite you to get closer to a performance–and sometimes even become a part of it. Our visiting artists help create those communities, by pushing us to imagine new possibilities and making connections between us all while we sit or stand shoulder-to-shoulder, in awe of what they share with us. But those moments also depend on what happens when you come through our doors. There is, simply put, no performance without you and the energy you create in those moments.
Communities exist whether we’re gathered together inside a theater or passing one another on Franklin Street or in downtown Durham. This season, we want to find the opportunities for us all to consider how we can take what we experience together during a performance and apply it to benefit our everyday communities. You’ve probably read, heard, or even experienced in your own life that the arts promote empathy and can motivate people to engage civically. The arts foster creative thinking and open us to different ways of thinking.
This, in fact, is what we mean when we say “you are everything”–it’s you who has the power to translate what you feel into something that ripples outside the theater to bring about change and transformation. This is especially important at a time when many of us are moved in new and urgent ways to explore our own civic duty: the responsibility each of us has to build a better future for others. At CPA, we also believe that artists play an integral role in this process. With the insights revealed by what they do, they can inspire to show up for humanity, and do so in ways that reveal our individual creativity and compassion.
Throughout the season, we’ll host many performances under the umbrellas You Are a Neighbor, You Are a Citizen, and You are a Maker. These ideas trace back to what we think of as fundamental parts of community life: connections between neighbors, engaged citizenship, and collaborative creation. We’re also asking our visiting artists to connect with you even more offstage, and we’ll be working throughout the year to find unique opportunities for this. Check out our season brochure for a sampling of upcoming gatherings, and find out what our artists are up to on their event pages at carolinaperformingarts.org as we plan more events.
Thanks for being a part of this season, and those that have come before it. We are so grateful to have you as our community.