Point of View

December 10, 2010, 4:59 pm
Filed under: Out in the Community

Spontaneity is the quality of being able to do something just because you feel like it at any given moment, of trusting your instincts, of taking yourself –and others—by surprise and snatching from the clutches of your well-organized routine, a bit of unscheduled pleasure. That’s what Random Acts of Culture (RACs) is all about.

The Knight Foundation is bringing short, spontaneous bursts of classical music, theater, dance and opera to the streets in eight communities: Akron, Ohio; Charlotte, N.C.; Detroit, Mich.; Macon, Ga.; Miami, Fla.; Philadelphia, Pa.; San Jose, Calif. and St. Paul, Minn. Thanks to this new initiative, you might just experience a bit of culture where you less expected it—think Mozart at the mall and La Traviata in the market. More than 1,000 RACs have been planned for the next three years.

The Knight Foundation’s arts program invests in projects that enrich and engage communities. “Not everyone can make it to see the opera, or the ballet. But when you get a taste of it – even for just a few minutes – you feel the magic that the classical arts bring to our lives,” said Dennis Scholl, Knight Foundation’s vice president/arts.

Many supporting the program believe that arts are the highest form of human expression. They describe beauty, speak to our soul, engage and enrage. They celebrate our community’s diversity and etch our shared experience. The arts inspire. These  Random Acts of Culture are already happening in public places like airports, malls, and business meetings. They have already generated more than 500,000 views on KnightArts.org and three million YouTube hits.

 In November, Random Acts of Culture hit Aventura Mall as the Frost School of Music from University of Miami performed six spontaneous jazz moments on a busy Saturday afternoon.  Pleasantly surprised audiences talked about how these acts were very touching and appealing—and a welcome respite from everyday routine. “I felt all these random people in the mall come together as one to share this wonderful experience,” said one beaming shopper.

Also in November, mingling in plain clothes throughout the crowds, more than 650 Philadelphia singers burst into a performance of Handel’s “Hallelujah” Chorus from Messiah at a downtown Macy’s. Mouths dropped. Shoppers pointed, laughed and smiled – joining a growing group of people witnessing “Random Acts of Culture” in eight cities across the United States.

By providing much-needed resources for these Random Acts of Culture, Knight Foundation extends the reach of the classical arts beyond our theaters and allows new audiences to experience the joy of performances in a most visceral and unforgettable way.

To watch some of the videos of the performances go to www.RandomActsofCulture.org


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