Bill Bartholomew, of Newport this Week, welcomes Elizabeth Woodhouse, Founder/Artistic Director of Newport Sings (aka Choral Collective of Newport County) for a discussion on the organization's upcoming winter concert, the broad work that they are engaged in and Newport County's longstanding artistic history.
(This is a partial transcript of the video podcast)
"There's a huge grassroots local scene in Newport and that's not just the cover bands playing down on Thames Street, there's a sophisticated array of artists, including yourself, that are looking to take music, take the Arts to serve as a Community Connector. And talk about that moment right now, you know just from a municipal leadership standpoint, I know Mayor Xay is very much on board with this, it's a healing thing, it's a medicinal thing : the Arts make you smile and it's a nice to see, in some cases, like you it's a distraction from your phones... it's an economic development piece that all great cities have and Newport needs to emphasize. Talk about that a little bit..."
"That's right and and that's something that I've been very conscious of from the very beginning. It's this idea of a connecting a rich tradition of music in the arts, all year long and making sure that those who are residents in our community, not just the tourists coming in, we appreciate them very much and that's an important part of the reality of our community, but it's important to remember the residents and the people who are really building and keeping Newport alive throughout the year and so really thinking about the people that we're able to reach through this...
We're finding that people really want to make those connections, be together, be in the
same spaces with each other. So, from a week to week standpoint that's really important.
Right now on December 9th, we'll have close to 100 performers, which is really remarkable when you think about just the number of people who this is serving at this very moment
and the need for that. Then, an audience you know, their families and friends who are going to come and enjoy the music, you know that could be 200 people so in a space you're sharing this very powerful music and energy and all the things that we've really been seeking. If we look around and take a moment in those special instances, we
get to see "Wow this is my community of people". This is what we get behind, this is what we support and that's beautiful, that's such an inspiring thing. I think from a community standpoint, the partnerships that we have created over the years and the ways that we are able to support each other, that's very unique in Newport. I think something I was struck with from the beginning was just how wonderfully supportive everyone has been : arts organizations, young and old, other organizations have been so supportive and I'm just so grateful for that. We have a special place, we get to make music and have a very receptive community."
Please watch the video to enjoy the entire interview.