BY ANGELA WHITFORD
Traditionally, November is the month we focus on giving thanks for the many good things we enjoy. In those moments between political ads and Christmas carols, our staff remembers to be grateful for so many things. First, we are grateful to our members — wonderfully creative individuals, organizations and businesses who provide us with an abundance of interesting opportunities to feed our souls. We are also indebted to our donors, those individuals and corporations that understand and appreciate our mission to support our arts and culture sector by providing promotion, services and advocacy.
As a result of all the committed stakeholders in the arts and culture community, we live, work, and play in an area rich with accessible and diverse cultural assets. Our event website, FCBuzz.org, is certain proof of the vibrancy of our communities, as on any given day there are more than 600 arts and cultural events to consider attending or participating in! Our membership — and their supporters and audiences — are certainly busy, passionate and committed. There are many who have offered eloquent words to express thanks for all that the creative life brings to our society. One who comes to my mind at this time are those of Kurt Vonnegut, who said:
“Go into the arts. I’m not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”
It is no wonder, then, that we feel tremendously proud to be a part of it all — and obliged to give thanks to those who dance, paint, write, play music, compose, promote, direct, plan, strategize, buy tickets and donate to arts and culture. There is indeed a long tradition of impressive, committed individuals creating our arts and culture sector and we are honored to be a part of the landscape.
Angela Whitford is executive director of the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County.