I know, corny title.  But it's that season... the time for tenderness, sentimentality, family, charity ... all that schmoozy stuff that gets me every time.  And, oh my, the arts...  have you noticed the importance of the performing and fine arts during the holiday season?  The music... the decorations... the paintings... the sculptures... any one of us who performs in or attends holiday programs or spends hours upon hours getting the house or office decked out can attest to the role of the arts in creating a festive and beautiful atmosphere at this time of year.

It makes me reflect on two essential arguments in advocacy I have heard recently: adding to the quality of life for community members and building neighborhood vibrancy.  Last Saturday night we had the group Basix perform here at the Event Center in Kemmerer.  (I know several other Wyoming communities enjoyed them as well!)  There was a lot of praise and we enjoyed many, many compliments about the program.  But the comment that most resonated with me was, "I don't remember the last time so many Kemmererites were in one place with smiles on their faces.  This group brought a lot of joy to this small Wyoming town." 

Fellow arts enthusiasts, there is no better compliment than that.  At times I falter in my passion and get bogged down by the politics, the busy-ness, the criticism, the resistance we sometimes face when we work to bring arts to an underserved and geographically isolated area. But the opportunity to bring joy -- who could resist being part of that kind of movement?  Not I.

There are a lot of good reasons to be on the team that "arts it forward':  education, open-mindedness, creativity, economics, unity... they are all great.  But bringing joy to people -- that must remain at the top of the list, especially at this time of year.

So thanks for doing what you are doing, and rest in the knowledge that what you do affects lives for the better and enhances the community in a meaningful, relevant, real way.

Have a wonderful December, and thanks for stopping by the blog.

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