Are there ARTS IN THE REAL WORLD? What does it mean to be bilingual?

Do artists need in a sense to be bi-lingual in our world today? I recently had the opportunity to hear a very impressive talk given by the dean of the School of Visual and Performing Arts at George Mason University.

The talk was during our great blizzard month of February and was sadly sparsely attended. The event was called Arts in the Real World. It was an outreach program provided by the school for current students but also for alumni. The goal was to have alumni come in and connect with current students to let them know what they are up to but also hopefully provide valuable contracts to students.

The dean, William Reeder, was the first speaker and he spoke about the need of the artists to be bilingual. To speak in essence two languages. The language of their creativity but also a language of the professional world. His creative language was opera but he said also management. He said for him it had taken his entire life to learn really both.

My husband who I met at the Corcoran College of Art often talk about his graduation commencement speaker who said that the Arts are the only profession that in essence require you to have two jobs.

I admire William Reeder’s thoughts about the arts more than the commencement speaker from way back in the 80s when my husband and I were students. The arts are a language. It takes a life time to master them. Our society requires that we learn to speak two languages in order to navigate our world successful.- but you know that ‘s OK.

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