On Friday night, I had the chance to attend the concert of one of my favorite bands — Connections. You may not have heard of them, but that’s ok. They’re awesome, and if they’re ever playing in your area, you should definitely check them out. All of their concerts are free, and they collect donations to support various causes, including, but not limited to, UMCOR and Imagine No Malaria. You can find out more about their band by visiting their website: https://www.connectionsband.com/
This band was started about 11 years ago by six United Methodist ministers who realized they all had a passion for music and a fondness of Dan Fogelberg.They asked a few other people to join them, and gave a concert at Spring Valley UMC, and realized they had something special. They decided to call themselves “Connections,” because of the “United Methodist connection” that brought them together in the first place, and because of their mission to build community through evenings of high quality entertainment. They put together some new sets including Chicago, Eagles, Carole King, James Taylor and many others. Since that time, the band has grown and changed, with members leaving and new members joining, so on Friday night, there were just three of the original founding members, Rusty King, Eric Folkerth, and my Daddy, Frank Rahm.
“Ah, ok.” You say. “Now we know why this ‘70s Rock Cover Band is her favorite — her dad’s in the band!” Well, let me stop you right there. Yes, my dad is in the band. Yes, he’s a FANTASTIC pianist/keyboardist; but my dad is not the reason I love the band. I love the band because it is filled with musicians who love to make music. Yes, the membership has changed over the years, but the core of the band’s vision remains the same: Great music for a great cause. And as I listened and danced in my chair and sang along on Friday night, I was reminded of how none of these musicians do this for a living. The band is strictly a volunteer/hobby thing for its members. But they get together about 3 – 6 times a year, plus rehearsals, to make music together. And that got me thinking about my own art, and how we can all connect with each other in different, often artistic, ways.
I recently finished reading and working through a book called The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. It is a book about what she calls “Creative Recovery,” which, as far as I am able to explain it, is about letting go of your ‘inner critic’ and allowing yourself to explore possibilities as an artist, and as a human being. I highly recommend working through this book for anyone who has ever had even the slightest inclination to paint, draw, sculpt, sing, act, dance, write, or otherwise express themselves artistically. It takes a lot of self-discipline, but it is completely worth it. Trust me.
Through the 12 weeks (for me, it was more like 15, but that’s because I got distracted part way through), I was able to really learn about myself and what I was allowing to hold me back from the full pursuit of my chosen Art — Acting. By the end of it, I found myself actively seeking ways to continue to grow Artistically, not only by acting, but also by scrapbooking, and making collages. Furthermore, I found I was able to really appreciate the efforts of other Artists all around me. You see, the big point of the Creative Recovery process is connecting with the world around you, and finding different ways to see how you fit into it, and how you can use your art to influence other people, as well as yourself. In order to unlock your own creative juices, you have to allow yourself to observe and enjoy other people’s art, too. That’s why Friday night was so great for me, personally: I was able to really enjoy the work of other artists, and see the connections we all had in that room not only with the music, but with the crowd of people in attendance, too.
Art has a way of bringing people together. Whether it is a rock concert, or a painting in a museum, or a play, people need to be able to share their stories, and artistic endeavors allow us to do that. So, friends, I encourage you to visit local art shows and festivals, attend a play at a local theatre, and embrace the art that surrounds you each and every day. Who knows? You may find yourself making connections you never knew you could.
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