Now the Real Work Begins

For the past few weeks, our team has been wrapped up in inspiration. It's the theme of our winter series show, which means many chances to ask  "What inspires you?" and many tweets around the topic of #muses. We've also been frequently labeling the work of the show's collaborating artists, faculty, and students as "inspirational" - which it truly is! However, we've been considering the general theme of inspiration for so long now that I needed a quick reminder of what inspiration actually means as a word. So, fresh from the Google machine:
in.spi.ra.tion - a person, place, experience, etc., that makes someone want to do or create something
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Often, I hear artists and audiences critique a exceptional performance or musician as "inspiring." I'm sure that, at times, that leaves us more refreshed as we go into our next work day, or maybe it leads us to YouTube to find another recording. But how often do these experiences lead us to seek out or create something entirely new?
For those of you coming to one of our many concerts in the next few weeks, I hope you will find many parts of the performance inspiring. The music is skillfully composed, brilliantly played, and is reflected in beautifully drawn artwork. The words you see from one of the composers or one of our collaborators may push you to think carefully, to consider your own sources of inspiration.
But then, what next?As a part of our recent collaboration with University of Illinois-Springfield, astronomy professor John Martin shared his own story and finished the spoken portion of the concert with the following statement about what happens after the moment of inspiration:

"Now the real work begins."

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So, dear friends and fans, as a part of this weekly inspirational blog post, I'd like to propose a little challenge. If you're able to attend one of our performances - this month, next month, or next year - and you find the work of Fifth House Ensemble to be truly inspirational, don't check your inspiration at the parking lot. Do or create something. 
It could be small and personal - a note thanking your instructor for their wise words or a trip to an art gallery, perhaps. It could be an effort to inspire those around you. It could be anything! Let your inspiration lead you somewhere new, and let us know what happens.
This post was written by Anna Duncan, 5HE's programs director, who was instrumental in the building of Invoking the Muse and our work with the faculty members at UIS.