Artistic process is messy and creatives need community to thrive. Like these bluebells just emerging from the leaf mulch, pushing their way through the newly thawed earth, artists thrive in community, drawing their energy from one another. One thing my students have been teaching me in this very painful year is that through their shared pain and discovery, they come to greater understanding of their collective artistic journey. They recognize that failure and misstep is part of the process. They see that the journey to greater creative mastery is not through perfection, but rather by experimentation, false starts, falls backwards, leaps forwards, and sensational flops in the mud. Through it all, they can support one another and also cement their learning by sharing in these failures and triumphs openly.

I want to celebrate artists this week, because they have suffered so much in this pandemic. Musicians have suffered deeply, and singers likely most of all–our voices and our audiences have been snatched from us. Yet it is the community of singers that has allowed us to thrive despite it all. We are a resilient bunch. And together, we are finding new ways, listening to new voices and bursting creatively through the muck. Community matters, and it’s what helps us bloom.