“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” ― Winston S. Churchill
How artists motivate themselves has become a favorite topic of mine. I’ve started writing about some of the people who’ve stirred my past, present, and future creativity with a post called Motivation Monday, where I choose one of the writers, artists, or musicians I’ve gotten the biggest lift from. But lately I’ve had a hard time choosing one because so many motivate for so many different reasons. I’ve recently realized the artists who consistently give me the energy boost I need are the ones who persevere against the oppression of prejudice off all kinds, including race, gender, and jealousy, to name a few.
Last week I was reminded of the beginnings of Dance Theater of Harlem, founded fifty years ago under the co-directorship of Arthur Mitchell and Karel Shook. Watching the gorgeous lines and movement of those dancers so long ago when the school started, it’s hard to imagine what a crushing blow it must have been to have that kind of talent and passion only to be told you couldn’t do what you wanted to because your skin was the wrong color. It seems ridiculous to imagine today, but that’s because of the resolution of those dancers then.