Yesterday's Music is Art festival turned out to be, yet again, another smashing success. The twelve hour event, from 10am to 10pm, turned Delaware Park into an artistic wonderland, where people had as much free reign as the artists that they came to see. I came away from MiA with one realization and one wish. The realization is that MiA has become a super family-friendly event over the years, which to me was an unexpected occurrence.
While I was aware that there was a kids' village set up surrounding the Delaware Park playground, it turned out that the entire festival footprint, not including the beer gardens of course, was a kids' paradise - to be enjoyed by young boys and girls as much as the parents who brought them. In fact, after seeing yesterday's production, I'm a tad jealous that MiA was not around when I was growing up in Buffalo. There's something about MiA that brings out the kid in the adults, while offering the kids a chance to act like adults. MiA offers a window into the world of the arts for young people, who hopefully look around and think that art is 'cool'.
If you think that all artwork should be light, bright and cheery, then MiA is not that. There is a somewhat dark element to the artistic showcase - it's not unusual to see a roaming zombie being led by the neck by another zombie, while a musician plays and an artist creates an installation. Kind of like Alice and Wonderland meets Biohazard. Yes, art can be scary, and fun and mysterious, and enlightening all at the same time.
Which made me think back to life before Music Is Art. The festival has become a breeding ground for creativity. Painters and musicians and sculptors... and zombie effect pros have created an alternate universe where all types of people come together to celebrate whatever it is that makes them happy. Whether that happens to be a fourteen year old playing a djembe drum or a forty year old blowing bubbles alongside Allentown's 'bubble man', MiA is a way to let loose, and be whoever it is that you want to be for a day.
Oh, and my wish? To see more of these types of outdoor festivals in our parks throughout the year... plain and simple.