By Ryan Deal, Program Director, Community
As part of my responsibilities as the Program Director for Community at ASC, I oversee the Random Acts of Culture initiative which is made possible with the support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
Earlier this month, I spent two days with a group of dancers from the North Carolina Dance Theatre and three jazz musicians performing improvisational selections from The Nutcracker at-random, both at the Wells Fargo Customer Information Center and Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
The initiative aims to increase participation and support of fine art experiences by meeting the audience where they are – rather than expecting them to arrive at the concert hall for a performance.
However, I am struck by the power that these random performances have to remind the unsuspecting audience about the beauty of each moment passing by. Whether it’s a Wells Fargo employee grabbing a quick lunch between meetings in the on-site cafeteria or a passenger anxiously awaiting the boarding of their flight – the audience is invited to stop for just a moment and engage in a form of artistic expression.
The performance ends as quickly as it begins and the workers or passengers go on about their day – but hopefully changed, if even just a bit. They walk away smiling, laughing, talking about the performance with others and hopefully reminded of this playful and enjoyable experience the next time they consider attending a cultural event.