It is very much possible that Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States. A result that has caused many of my dearest loved ones a sense of panic and distress to levels that I have never seen before. Many of us are witnessing an immediate and glaring signal that we, as People of Color, as LGBT+ people, as artists, are not welcome in this unforgiving world of hate. I myself feel numb, having suffered a panic attack for a few hours, I suddenly stopped and felt my own soul shield up, my brain knows it’s survival time.
I’m sure many people understand this feeling, and it will spread as fear engulfs the planet. But we must stay strong. We must stick together, and be so brave as to love one another in ways radically tighter than before. I do believe that as artists we can create works that can channel the negative energy of our world and use it to create good, but that will require courage. Now that we are essentially abandoned by our government, it is up to us to reshape our own communities, and it must be as inclusive and welcoming as possible, always with the radical intent of destroying racism. We must unite to provide people of all sexual orientations, all genders, all ethnicities and all classes a safe space. We as artists can do that.
We must stop avoiding politics in our music, as if what happens in the world does not affect our art. That’s not true, stop bragging about not being political, because that hurts me as an artist whose life is political. Art cannot create social change in itself, but it can channel our frustrations and our passions and find a common ground in humanity that one can’t find through conversation.
I have been frustrated with new art in America. The best of it has been coming from People of Color, yet the classical world is so elitist, it now stings with the same hatred that elected Donald Trump. White composers have done next to nothing for composers of color, it is still Christian dominated, women in the industry are growing but barely. Meanwhile, there are still many people reluctant to write art relevant to the now infinite anxiety of our world. The disenfranchised needs more artists, and we need art that can reconnect us all as people.
Now, who wants to join me in dedicating their work towards bettering humanity? As artists, we have that power, why not use it?