Normally we post photos from an Artists Without Walls’ Showcase, followed by a wrap up of the evening’s events. But following Tuesday night’s Showcase we received so many comments we thought we’d publish a few of them first. Cat Dwyer’s photos and a written review will follow shortly.
“It was a thrilling, life affirming night—life-affirming in the sense that an Artist Without Walls’ showcase highlights beautifully, often spectacularly, our shared humanity. In our fast-paced, rat-race lives, it is easy to feel disconnected from the world, from our fellow man/woman. But then you have a space like AWoW has created, where people bring their stories and share them—their hurts, betrayals and joys—in various mediums, with a bunch of other folks, who have their own stories, it’s as if by magic, the whole room experiences a sense of connectedness, real-time affirmation that we’re all part of a rich and complex tapestry.
Just look at a sample of the marvelous stories told through word and song last night alone: a middle-aged man who finds out that he’s not of Russian descent, but of Irish heritage; how witnessing the effects of genital mutilation in Africa shaped an American artist’s work; Native American assimilation; a family’s tradition of belting out an Irish ballad in a convoy of cars en route to their Granny’s house; the fraught mother-daughter relationship in a woman’s poems; and even though the other performances weren’t explicitly drawn from the artists’ own lives, there’s more than a sprinkling of themselves in their respective pieces. And there’s more than a sprinkling of ourselves in all of the performances last night. That’s what draws us from our suburban houses, our uptown apartments and our downtown offices on a Tuesday night.
As you said, Charles, all you need do is get up there and give it all you’ve got. When you’re passionate about what you do, it shines through.
Artists Without Walls has created such a unique space for artists of all stripes. I’m so happy and proud to be a part of this organization. Each showcase I attend costs me $100 in babysitting fees–I can’t think of a better way to spend my money.” Connie Roberts
“If you were to put Ed Sullivan, Oscar Wilde and TEDTalks into a blender you’d get Artist Without Walls. The Showcase is a friendly environment for artists to share their work and start unique collaborations in a remarkably intimate setting. One of the most receptive and fun shows I’ve been a part of…” Ed Romanoff
“Incredibly moving performances from beginning to end! Transforming life’s experiences into art is a “Saintly” calling and we had a taste of heaven last evening, thanks to all the performers.” Vincent Nauheimer
“Oh my God, Charles and Niamh, you must be bursting with what you’ve created. It’s growing because it’s calling people, really. I feel such a community there, a home. David’s been working on his Tennessee William’s play for so long. What was needed, so desperately was what AWOW gave it, a loving ear to witness. That room, that audience of art friends, people that really understand and want to see you express it. Wonderful!” Mary Tierney
“Brilliant! Somehow egos are left at the door and you sit there absorbing these wonderful performances. And by the end of the evening you find yourself connected to your soul.” Ray Lindie
“What an extraordinary night. I feel blessed to have been a witness and a participant to the magic.” Jenai Huff
“I watched, listened, smiled, laughed, applauded, cheered, hummed, moved, cried, connected, and thought. Vinnie and I kept elbowing each other with the remark, “This is amazing”. Niamh and Charles deserve praise and encouragement to do more.” Tom Myles
“AWOW is a wonderful thing you’ve got going. So much talent in a packed room – you have to think about taking it on tour!” Alan McMonagle
“Superb. People are proud to be part of AWoW and that includes me!” Billy Barrett
“The diversity of presenters was brilliant.” Jack Lamplough
“It was a delight and a privilege to be part of last night’s amazing lineup! Thank you, Niamh and Charles, for making The Magic happen!” Angela Alaimo O’Donnell
“Wow, what a night! This is really turning into something. I am on my way home on the LIRR and just ‘over the moon.’ Great job Niamh and Charles.” Jack O’Connell