|Kailey Bryan's piece in my upcoming exhibition is one I am very excited about.|
My mind is a very crowded place: too many ideas, projects and even languages. I knew I was quickly becoming toast this week when I found myself writing in, of all things, Latin. When I get very tired the languages in my brain all run together and I lose track of them. This entertains my son to no end. I start a sentence in one and end up in another. This week has been a good week for languages. I dusted off my Arabic, which I haven't spoken in decades. I have some new friends from the Middle East.
OK. This week I have been stopped on the street and asked about the changing tone of my blog. Yes, thank you for noticing. What has happened is that when I started the blog it was just a place for me to vent and have a digital presence. As time has gone on, I have gotten more and more readers. With that comes responsibility. I understand that words have impact and I try and be an ethical person. So, that means acknowledging what I do has consequences. Consider it the literary version of recycling, if you will. The tone reflects whatever intent I have when I write. I have done just about everything you can do with words– from advertising to speech writing, to art criticism so tone is like vocabulary to me –or changing socks.
Any old who, what has been on my mind this week is philanthropy in the arts. My professional life has been spent in the arts and that has left me cash poor but usually happy. From time to time I ask myself if I should do something more profitable so that I could spend money in support of the arts. Clearly, I am still in the arts sector. But I have very strong opinions on how we should support the arts. What I choose to do is to donate in, a what I hope, is a conscious fashion. I give a piece of jewelry every year to a silent auction for example. And one year I gave five. It depends on what I have and who is asking. My kid for example has always used his birthday party as a fundraiser for a charity of his choice. When we travel I also give him a budget to spend on art because I think that ingrains the idea that art is no more a luxury than candy or books.
It has always rankled me that artists get hit on to donate to fundraising auctions. I do like the practice that has evolved of artists getting a minimum bid and the balance going to charity. That makes sense.
This week I attended two musical events with an allusion to fundraising (and yes I paid for my tickets). One was in support of the REAL program, which funds sports, dance, music, etc in the City of St. John's and it really helps out families who can't afford musical instruments, sport equipment, lessons, etc. It makes a huge difference to the quality of life for families and helps them immeasurably. It is my understanding that 95 organizations city-wide cooperate to make that happen along with our municipal government. Good for you City of St. John's. Sometimes you get it right.
The other event was at the Memorial University School of Music. It was a gala that showcased the talents of staff, students and alumni and the philanthropist in question is Edwin Procunier, who while alive made a bequest to the university. Procunier was an all round arts supporter (music, visual arts, literature, etc). If I've got this right, this year four full scholarships in the School of Music where made possible through the bequest. And there is a show up at The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery currently that is made possible with the generosity of Procunier estate.
So, I'll end with this question: what do you support?