I grew up in a town where being an artist was not valued in the same way as other more practical jobs. No one in that small town in which I grew up in ever introduced him or herself as an artist. But in the days following terrorist attacks in Paris, Beirut, Syria, Russian jets being shot down over the Sinai peninsula, and countless other senseless killings, artists are the ones who are showing others the way through the tragedy and heartbreak.
Through artwork, poetry, photography, and music, artists are showing the world how to mourn, drawing all of us together in community, and demonstrating solidarity in support of peace without the boundaries of language or religion or politics. Art can cut through all the rhetoric of spin, fanaticism, and shouting, to show us the humanity that links us, and by doing so, reminds us again of what makes us more than the base creatures who perpetrated all of these crimes, which are crimes against not one people, not one country, but against all of humanity.
This musician is a perfect example of an artist who felt so moved to share in a perfect setting a song that draws us all together to mourn and to imagine a better world. If we can imagine it, we can make it a reality, and for this reason, I am proud to call myself an artist, too.