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Yesterday I joined a very large group of local artists to form an organization that will hopefully allow artists to join forces and get some lift-off in this Region!

I didn’t stick around for nominations and closing remarks… my parking was running out and this year is going to be so busy with graduation and start of college that I didn’t want to take on anything more, IF I was nominated.

It was definitely interesting though.  There were a couple of politicians and a few people who weren’t artists… some did well, others not so much!

We broke off into groups of 6/7/8 and went around the circle to answer the question “What are you committed to doing re: arts in the Region until 2020?”  Part of it turned into “What would you like to see happen in the arts in the Region?”

We, unfortunately, had an individual in our group who was there almost to be that negative force among a group of individuals who are tired of not having a voice.  Individuals who create but of almost 3/4 of a million people in the Region don’t know they exist!  Trying to find a voice and carve a path forward is difficult for anyone to do… being an artist is even more difficult.

I have been lucky enough to go into medicine and deal with some of the politics of that.  I have worked on projects that have included amazing individuals who bring knowledge to the table beyond what I could have done and I’m like a sponge… I mop up things that people say to help myself develop my own opinions.  I look for mailings when there’s an upcoming election.  Basically, I inform myself.  I have researched potential funding for arts so I could start my studio but they don’t start that way, nor does any of the government funding!  So I am enlightened.  Others are not.  They live in the proverbial box.  They go about their passion but beyond that, they just don’t know because they don’t have to know.  Or perhaps they don’t want to know.

So it was incredibly interesting as I sat there taking in what was being said on the podium, then in our group.  I was chosen as secretary and, therefore, speaker for our group.  Having taught classes, etc. it didn’t bother me at all.  Well, maybe a little bit… my fears come more from the possibilities of embarrassing myself by tripping, knocking something over, etc.

It was an amazing feeling taking the podium though.  Even though I was mostly just reading, it felt really good because as the speaker, I could give extra passion to what it was I was seeking to get out of this large group.  I think people understood that individually, we are all invisible.  We live with close to a million others who don’t know we exist.  I hope that it planted some seeds.

Anyway, it felt great to leave the podium and be told that I did great because I didn’t hear any others being complimented.  I also had someone else walk up to me and tell me I did great and that I had some great ideas.

Together, we can make a difference.  Individually, we remain invisible.

Let’s make a difference!