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    A View from the Pew

    ArtsMoveHearts: Take the Challenge

    On Labor Day Weekend, I reveled in the music of Steven Sondheim for two hours. Approximately 15 music students from Rhode Island College with their professor, Dr. Frederick Sheff, presented a sterling review of some of my favorite music from the vast Sondheim repertoire. Sondheim’s prolific music presents singers with challenging intervals and rhythms along with an emotionally saturated content that leaves both the performer and listener literally sapped of stamina. Sondheim requires a skilled company to deliver this music with the power that it contains. Sondheim’s music also demands versatility; satirical, poignant and packed with the stuff of life that comes with seasoned years, performers need to not only stay on their musical game but on tap into their psyches. I watched these young performers delve into Sondheim with sophistication, intelligence and skill. Between the humor, the pathos and the beauty, the audience was saturated and thoroughly satisfied.

    In several years, many of these students will leave the safety net of college and plunge into the world of the performing arts with no viable income and no health benefits. Because they need to live to survive, many hours of precious practice and audition hours will go by the wayside as these young artists take jobs as waiters, baristas, store vendors and find themselves struggling to pay the rent, eat, pay health benefits and still find the energy and time to author plays, compose music, act, sing, dance and play in orchestras or ensembles. We live our lives surrounded by the arts. Do we consider their origins and the people who create them and what they sacrifice so we can see a show, go to a movie, attend a play, listen to beautiful music?

    Here’s your opportunity to help. Consider getting in on the ground floor of ArtsMoveHearts to provide young artists with substantial funds so that they continue to study, practice and create the arts that feeds our spirits. There’s a person behind that performing art that feeds your spirit.

    To find out how you can help a young artist, email Denise Morency Gannon, founder of ArtsMoveHearts at or go to and look for ArtsMoveHearts on the web site.

    We need you. They need you. The performing arts need you. Take the ArtsMoveHearts challenge today and consider donating by writing a check, money order or through Pay Pal on this website.

    Some of the Sondheim music included in the review: Barcelona (Company), You Could Drive a Person Crazy (Company), Agony (Into the Woods), It’s That Kind of a Neighborhood (Company), Being Alive (Company), Giants in the Sky (Into the Sky), No One is Alone (Into the Woods), Weekends in the Country (Company), Getting Married Today (Company), Not While I’m Around and Pretty Woman (Sweeney Todd), Sunday in the Park (Sunday in the Park) and more.