The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Feb 17, 2012

"Carmen" in San Jose: A Random Acts of Culture™ Valentine's Day

Posted by Valerie Nahmad

By Randy Bobst-McKay, Symphony Silicon Valley

Valentine's Day brought Carmen to the San Jose International Airport, Intel's corporate headquarters, several area malls, restaurants and even the 500-member San Jose chapter of Rotary International.  These 17 Random Acts of Culture performances featured Symphony Silicon Valley's concertmaster on violin and two singers from Opera San Jose bringing to life Bizet's most familiar music.

Why Does Knight Foundation Fund Random Acts of Culture™? Knight Foundation, like its founders Jack and Jim Knight, focuses on promoting informed and engaged communities. To that end, we strongly believe in the potential of the arts to engage residents, and bring a community together. Hearing Handel, or seeing the tango in an unexpected place provides a deeply felt reminder of how the classics can enrich our lives. As you’ll see in our videos, the performances make people smile, dance, grab their cameras – even cry with joy. For those brief moments, people going along in their everyday lives are part of a shared, communal experience that makes their community a more vibrant place to live. In these days of shrinking audiences, we also hope that these random acts will encourage people to attend traditional performances. We can’t promise it. But it’s hard to watch what unfolds during a Random Act of Culture, and not be inspired to see and hear more.

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