In a recent issue of the Reno Gazette-Journal, a Voices From The Arts column caught my eye. The headline was “Young artists aim for something lasting” and it was written by Sarah Lillegard, the arts and programming director for The Holland Project.
The Holland Project is a Reno organization that encourages and supports young people who are passionate about art and music. It’s similar to Seattle’s Vera Project and gives like-minded kids and teens opportunities to learn, network and showcase their creative projects.
What grabbed my attention was that Lillegard shed light on a universal truth about wanting to become a professional artist, musician or composer. You can’t go into it for the fame or money, because those aren’t guaranteed. You do it because you love it and you can’t imagine spending your life doing anything else.
Lillegard wrote, “Living in Reno, the art that haunts and speaks the loudest isn’t always in the established galleries and museums, but at coffee shops and one-night shows. Beneath the white walls and exhibition’s cards of this town, there are generations of young artists making work with a fierce determination.”
She said that most of these aspiring artists are well aware that they may have a difficult road ahead of them. They could play it safe and learn a trade, but they are willing to take risks and make sacrifices for the sake of being happy.
Lillegard explained, “Having watched parents work middle-income jobs to little or no satisfaction, these artists have a want for more, even if it means that money is less.”
As I’ve previously mentioned on my blog, my parents were less than thrilled when I announced my intention to become a professional musician and composer. They wanted me to play it safe, to become a plumber. I know that they were worried about my future and I appreciated their concern. But I knew that music was the only career path for me.
I’m glad that organizations like The Holland Project and The Vera Project are out there to help young people explore the possibilities of careers in art or music. Some participants may find that they don’t have the drive or desire to pursue art or music professionally — and that’s fine, too. Learning about art and music will always improve your life and make you a well-rounded person.
For more information about The Holland Project, visit http://www.hollandreno.org/
For more information about The Vera Project, visit http://www.theveraproject.org/