Want peace? Send the artists.


I don’t know if any of you have been following the New York Philharmonic’s trip to North Korea, but I have been inspired by this little ray of peace and hope. Nay sayers (and there are plenty of them), see this only as a public relations ploy by North Korea’s President, Kim Jong Il. While I was running errands yesterday afternoon I caught WNYC’s show, Soundcheck (the best thing about driving around town on my endless loop of kids, errands, etc. is getting to listen to the Public Radio station on XM Radio – see my side bar on What I’m Listening To) and I was very moved by John Schaefer’s report from the concert. Devoid of politics during the moments they made their beautiful music, all I heard was beauty and the stirring human connections that were made between the artists and their audience. It was a goose bump kind of story for me. I believe that kind of artistic connection makes a difference in this crazy world. Give the story a listen here and see what you think. For those of you who think I’ve gone a little woo-woo on this, John’s story is followed by the pundits doing their nay saying thing, so this story has something for everyone. Actually, what follows John’s man-on-street report, or in this case, man-in-the-orchestra-pit report, is an interesting discussion about what the Philharmonic’s role in this is, and does cultural diplomacy make a difference.

And guess who’s up next? Eric Clapton. Yep. He’s been invited by the North Korean government. Who knew Kim Jong Il had a hankering for the ol’ Slow Hand.

5 Responses to Want peace? Send the artists.

  1. Gwen says:

    Oh Fran, I so agree with you about this! I caught a bit of that story myself yesterday. I truly believe that art can change the world, just think, if everyone had a place like ArtFest to go to, how could there be war? If we were all in touch with our creative spirit, there would be no time for war!

  2. stephanie says:

    I listened to this report yesterday on NPR and just cried, it was so touching…the entire event, how they were received, the effect on the musicians and interaction between them and the audience!!!

    Thanks for sharing this!


  3. Dawn says:

    Yes, this is a step in the right direction…and wow: CLAPTON? Impressive…He’ll play a little Layla for the people of North Korea!

  4. Lisa Hoffman says:

    My 2 cents: The artists, musicians, scientists, mathematicians, physicians and poets have always been able to communicate across the divide. Sadly, they do not run the show (would they want to?). We can use Blogging as another way to connect with the rest of the World. I’m always touched and thrilled to see a comment from another country, and I know of several friendships that have unrolled across the oceans. We’re here in the trenches, we can make a difference too…WE may not look as poetic lined up in front of the plane, but some of you look stunning in your little Blog photos…in front of your computers. Power to the arts, ALL arts. Nice “spotlight” Fran!

    Lisa H.

  5. Claire Flaherty says:

    Hey Fran. Loved your comment on a very touching NPR story. I heard it too, was touched as well. Your blog is great–I am so impressed! and with your work featured in these publications . . .very very cool. (especially the photo of your studio in Cloth Paper) Claire [Taos-Cleo]

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