Not many people can claim to be happy when their job makes them cry. But when I get to see the impact of some of the events and organizations that Assiniboine helps to support, and in this case, the power of music, I often find myself reaching for a tissue.
One such event was a Culture Days performance at the Forks organized by the Music for All Alliance. ACU provided sponsorship support to bring kids from a number of community music programs together for a morning of workshops followed by an afternoon performance for the public.
The performers included kids from a number of outreach programs supported by ACU grants and sponsorships, including the Winnipeg Folk Festival’s Galaxie Young Performers Program, the West End Cultural Centre’s Play and Record Program, and Sistema Winnipeg. On a beautiful fall afternoon, these novice musicians took to the stage to show a delighted crowd what they could do.
As an amateur musician and the former General Manager of the West End Cultural Centre, I need no persuading about the life-changing potential of active involvement in the arts. When ACU was approached to sponsor the event we immediately saw that it was a great fit for our Community Sponsorships Program. It supported Manitoba’s thriving artistic community while encouraging community connections and pride.
And the tissue moment? I was watching two teenage girls sing a song they had written while their proud parents captured the performance on video. At the end of the song as the audience applauded one of the dads leapt out of his chair and ran to the stage to give his daughter a huge hug. Her mom, who had been sitting quietly, promptly burst into tears of pride. And, yes, soon I too was overcome.
Recent research has shown that music education boosts both self-esteem and academic performance in kids. But on this day the kids weren’t thinking about the educational benefits – they were just relishing the joy of playing together.
When was the last time you sat back and enjoyed the power of music?