Jack Lin ’21, a passionate pianist of the Chameleon ensemble and an experienced saxophonist of the Advanced Jazz ensemble, is also part of the newly established Arts Council at Concord Academy. In this interview, he is going to introduce to us the Council’s role and mechanism in our community. 

C: Hi, Jack. Can you tell us what the Arts Council at CA is? 

J: Yes! We’re a council that focuses on advocating the value of arts at CA, the town of Concord, and beyond. We coordinate with CA’s communication office to provide content for the school website and other CA social media pages like Instagram and Facebook. We also hope to bridge the gap between visual arts and performing arts programs at CA, as well as to reach out to other schools and coordinate presentations related to arts. Another important aspect of our work is to invite guest artists and speakers and to hold talkbacks in which artists explain their art before or after performances/art shows. 

C: Who is on the Arts Council? How do you guys divide the job? 

J: We have six student representatives (Piper Gordon 21’, ChaeWon Bae 22’, Shreya Patel 21’, Rylie Robinson 21’, Melanie Chen 21’, and Jack Lin 21’), and we work together with Amy Spencer, the head of Arts department at CA. We don’t have specific job divisions; it’s more like collaborative work. 

C: What are some of the projects you’re working on? 

J: One thing we’re working on is to improve CA’s Instagram page and to add more arts-related content. We’re also hoping to publicize our work during Club Expo. There’s another idea that I have, but I haven’t mentioned it to the council yet. Remember how we used to have working progress concerts during family weekend? Though I’m not sure if family weekend will be in-person, I still hope to hold an event where dance groups and music groups can perform, and where visual arts students can do a presentation as well. I believe this kind of big arts event will bridge the gap between performing arts and visual arts programs. 

C: That sounds like a very exciting idea! Speaking of the pandemic, how do you think your work is affected by it? How would the Arts Council ensure that it achieves its goals this semester? 

J: Yeah, everything is definitely more challenging given the current situations. For example, a lot of music groups cannot meet in-person to rehearse, which really hinders their progress. Yet, I believe the pandemic also opens up a lot of new opportunities. For example, because of the pandemic, people are spending more time on social media. We could potentially use social media as platforms to promote our artwork. And I know that some people have found creative ways to produce music, like putting together videos of ensemble members playing at home, or individuals doing multiple parts of a whole piece. To answer your question, I think the Arts Council is coming up with a lot of different suggestions for students to produce and present arts, especially through online platforms. In addition, it might be easier for us to invite guest speakers as now they don’t have to come all the way to Concord, but can simply zoom in. 

C: Yes, that is very true. And how can other students be more engaged in what you’re doing? 

J: We’re currently trying to hold open meetings where everyone can join and discuss art-related topics together. We’re still brainstorming other ways for people to get involved in our work. 

C: That sounds great! I believe a lot of people would be excited about these opportunities you just mentioned! Any last thoughts you want to share with the whole school? 

J: I want to say that a lot of people may think that art is distanced, that if they don’t have talents, they can’t do it. However, I believe that art is, in fact, something people can enjoy no matter what their level or experiences are. And it is definitely something that can bring people joy during this stressful and chaotic time. 

As Jack shared, the Student Arts Council aims to make art more inclusive and accessible at CA. With enthusiastic and thoughtful leaders like Jack, the Arts Council should do a great job this year in increasing our community’s artistic engagement.