Well…we’d be singers of sad songs, artists without colors, lovers without inspiration, and all of us poorer without the joy and harmony that city green spaces bring. Research proves it: communities are safer where green spaces exist; nature makes us healthier, happier, smarter and more creative.
But sadly, nature in the city is being stolen. And not just by one “bad guy”, but many. It starts with underfunding, which allows parks to fall into disrepair, which leads to disuse, and then to being “disappeared”. Super storms ravage them, vandals overrun them, and building projects swallow them whole. But of all the villains, the worst is Apathy– the belief that nothing can be done, so why try?
That’s where Music and Art for Green comes charging in– to blast out Apathy and rally support –with the sound of music and the joy of art! We are a group of performers, artists, and business people dedicated to preserving urban green spaces. And we do it in a delightful way: we bring free professional concerts and art events to city neighborhoods — giving people a reason to get out, into, and interested in supporting their parks again.
It absolutely works. Ever since 2008 when Music and Art for Green president, Raissa Katona Bennett launched the first of our award-wining concerts at Tudor City Greens, you can literally watch our magic unfold as the first notes of a Broadway song soar through the trees. The music calls to people in office towers and apartment buildings, lures them to windows to see what’s happening; then down the elevators they come and out into the parks. They reconnect with neighbors they may not have seen in months, they relax, restore themselves, and enjoy the live music surrounded by trees. And they leave inspired to help preserve their park; donations go up, volunteerism increases. Local businesses owners also take note; they too ramp up support for the greening of their community.
Simply put, Music and Art for Green serves to remind people — in paraphrase of Joni Mitchell’s famous refrain –to know what they’ve got BEFORE it’s gone. And through that raised awareness and raised funds, our urban parks can continue to support us all as the peaceful, prospering oases of our cities.