The Power to Transform

Anna Terese Stone

What happens when artists are given permission to simply exist? To create and not be perfect? When we have the space to be authentic, and know that our stories and voices will be heard. It’s truly magical--True beauty comes to life—Imperfect, messy, real, authentic beauty.

Art has the power to transform the world; I have witnessed the power of a story transform human beings in front of my eyes. So I am here to tell you, artists of the world, you have a voice that matters, you are worthy of creation and belonging, and your power lies beyond that audition that flopped, it lies beyond the job you booked, the note you hit, the turn you fell out of, whatever it is, the good and the bad, you have power, you are enough, and you have a voice that needs to be heard.  And we must understand our worth, because when we do, the things that we can create are immeasurable.

We are living in a day and age where everything is external. We are so focused on being exactly what the industry, society, the media, is telling us we should be, that we lose our voice. We are taught that if we don’t do this, wear this, act like this, no no no no, we will not succeed. It has become all about, what do I look like, is the choreographer looking at me, do they like me, am I doing it perfectly, do I look better than everyone else? We have lost the space to simply create. And many do not believe they are worthy or have a voice to simply create. There is such desperation for work, that everything stays external, our worth comes from what others think of me, and am I going to get this job? We also live in a city that doesn’t cater to space for creativity and stillness. Everywhere we go, it’s exhausting, we don’t connect to people. We walk into a room, and a wall is put up, there is no authenticity. It’s, I am here to please and get a job, instead of, I am an artist and I have something to say; I have a voice that matters. And that is what’s important, a space to exist and create and practice your craft as a storyteller. Being able to cultivate who you are as an artist. But I also think there’s a layer of needing to be in the right place to hear and understand that. Two years ago, I would have never recognized or understood that this was the key and was so incredibly important. I didn’t start calling, and believing, that I was an artist, until this last year. I was a dancer, a performer, and that was it. I existed to get a job and make it on Broadway, and I didn’t understand that my voice mattered and the world needed my voice as an artist and as a human. The world and this community needs to understand that that is what’s important, that is what life is truly about, and that is how art has the power to truly transform the world.

We must change the focus, shift from “What do they want? What will make them like me? What will get me the job?” To understanding that the power comes from connection—connection to other artists and human beings, but also connection to yourself and ownership of your body and soul. But we must recognize that this is a process, a daily, active choice that becomes a way of life. It forces you to break down walls, really look inside and be honest with who you are. It’s ripping off the layers of armor we’ve put on over the years, to appear as the person we believe we should be. We must take them off and show the world who we are. That is beauty, that is power, and that is art. And that is what the world needs right now.    


Anna Terese Stone

Director of Programming, Motivated Movers