Hi I'm Jay. The Artist In Us is a video documentary project about the arts.
A while back, through a youth-run service project called Music Without Borders, I learned about the 2007 social experiment with the world renowned violinist Joshua Bell playing incognito in the Washington Metro to "thunderous silence" and indifference. According to the Washington Post, who wrote a Pulitzer Prize-winning article about this story, children were the only group of people who stopped to listen to Bell, while others just ignored him.
Usually people pay hundreds of dollars to go to the concert hall to hear Bell. In fact, the Metro was full to the brim when Bell returned to play there in 2014 and the audience gave him a standing ovation. The only difference this second time was that people knew in advance who he was.
Why is it that in 2007 only few people stopped to listen, even though Bell played as beautifully as usual and for free? Are we naturally attracted to beauty? Can we recognize it even when we least expect it?
To answer these questions, I interviewed many different people—professional artists and amateurs, kids and older folks, musicians, visual artists, storytellers and many others. These interviews are shown on this blog. I hope they make you ask questions about the arts.