A Free Spirit

The need of making ART… with a purpose.

In my life, I have always considered myself a free spirit, connected to the present, and building my future day by day in pursuit of a balance between art, roots, spirit, and nature. But, what happens when your present is stripping you from the possibility to connect with your roots, and ART, as you have known it for your entire life, shut down?

CHAOS! That’s what happens. Complete chaos and the loss of any possible balance inside.

I am a really happy person.. how is it possible that I find myself waking up every morning with a feeling of sadness? That’s not me.. ALERTA ROJA! Well.. I tried to save myself and stay connected to what was left: the connection with nature. I think that in the past 7 months I have been more times in the Hudson River park walkway than I have been in the restroom of my apartment!

But.. it’s not enough! What am I going to do with this force inside me, that is ART? Art has been the fire that has driven my entire life! It pushed me to move from Italy to Spain, and from Spain to NYC. It inspired me to be the person I am, has accompanied me as a loyal friend every step of the way. Can I really survive without it?

The clear and only answer to this question is NO. Absolutely not! I need to make art.. with a purpose.

So, as resilient as we are, we adapt and find a way! And that’s what we did in Salgado Productions. The team started to work hard to find a way to keep ART active and bring inspiration and light to others. And ZOOM appeared in our lives… If in February someone had told me to have a ZOOM meeting I would have probably thought of something similar to a Zumba class…Oh well, things change y’all!

Some of the most relevant projects that the team came up with are:

The Composers Project, which is focused in the collaboration of different background voices and storytellers to create a unique interchange of expressions by mixing style, traditions, and genres.

The social media Artistic Treat Wednesday, that gives a space for artists to share their hearts through ART.

And right now as I write this we are in the middle of our FAME The Musical workshop, an online professional experience that allows artists to connect from 5 different countries and share a unique bilingual artistic process. It has been so inspiring to see how (even in a virtual format) we are capable to create community through ART.

And the program that I find the most relevant right now is the Salgado Productions kids program at Iconos Kids. If it is hard for us as adults to be locked up inside, imagine for a kid… we need to bring inspiration and hope to them! Since March and all summer every Saturday the SP team, in collaboration with Iconos provided online performing arts classes to kids, keeping them somehow connected and giving them tools to express themselves from the isolation of their homes. But they are still kids, they need a real connection and a space to evolve, grow, and play through art.

So, once again, we found the way! Thanks to the enormous effort of Diana Victoria, Iconos Kids CEO.  Since September we have had access to a brand new… Safe space: The new Iconos home!

We created a triple threat program providing classes in-person and online that gives the kids the opportunity to get together in person every other Saturday, respecting the safety rules that we have to follow. On the first day of in-person classes, I was more excited than all of them together! And even if it’s not an easy task to teach dance or acting with everybody wearing a mask and keeping social distancing, it is so WORTH IT!

Fun fact of that first class: the kids were soooooo quiet.. every time I asked them a question they were answering me with a thumbs up or down! Oooh ZOOM… what have you done? It took me the entire class to make them speak!

So we go on and keep finding new ways.. because ART IS UNSTOPPABLE! And artists are essential workers for the soul of our society!

Now.. I cannot wait to be back in a rehearsal space connecting with people and create art in the good old-fashioned in-person way!

Valeria Cossu.

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