Mason Gross School of the Arts

Being creative means being vulnerable.

“My plea here is for people to give the needed space to artists and performers to fail every now and then, and to understand how exposed someone feels when trying something new. The trolls, the Twitter executioners and the like should save their savagery for those who are famous for being famous.”—Timothy Egan, The New York Times


"Me sitting down for dinner with Ingmar Bergman felt like a house painter sitting down with Picasso."—Woody Allen


"What if the music can make you do things?…The fear, however implausible, that music has mysterious powers—that it can hypnotize or brainwash, making us the playthings of malign manipulators or our own dark instincts—has crept into the public discourse surprisingly often over the past two hundred years."—Dr. James Kennaway, historian of medicine, in The Paris Review


“Our heads are round so thought can change direction”
― Allen Ginsberg


"We who work in the arts are at the risk of being in a popularity contest rather than a profession. If that fact causes you despair, you should probably pick another profession. Your desire to communicate must be bigger than your relationship to these chaotic and unfair realities."—Anna Deavere Smith, "Letters to a Young Artist"


“The good thing about being an artist, is it’s a legitimate way of looking at things cross-eyed.”—John Chamberlain. Thank you, Whitney Museum of American Art. More artist quotes here.


“Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.”
― The incomparable Maya Angelou


“Do what you love, but it can also be hard to know what you love early on. But when you think about it and you describe the options, which one gets you a little more excited?” — Brad Smith, chief executive of Intuit


"Do all the other things, the ambitious things–travel, get rich, get famous, innovate, lead, fall in love, make and lose fortunes, swim naked in wild jungle rivers (after first having it tested for monkey poop)–but as you do, to the extent that you can, err in the direction of kindness. Do those things that incline you toward the big questions, and avoid the things that would reduce you and make you trivial."—Writer George Saunders to Syracuse U. grads on 5/11/13. Bravo and Amen.


"The daily activity that contributes most to happiness is having dinner with friends. The daily activity that detracts most from happiness is commuting. Eat more. Commute less."—David Brooks’ 2013 commencement address at University of the South. NPR collected more than 300 addresses going back to 1774. Take a look, and take your pick, from Mister Rogers to Ali G.


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