Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Arts are about community


In a community where people often prefer to gripe in ways that divide us, I would like to shine a light on a local institution that continuously has brought us together. The Sun Valley Center for the Arts (aka The Center) serves more than 40,000 attendees a year, more than double the valley’s population.

From lectures by internationally renowned writers such as Salman Rushdie and Jonathan Franzen to world-class visual art exhibitions, to music performances by Bonnie Raitt and Michael Franti, to arts education through our local schools, The Center helps us open our hearts and minds in ways that are only possible through the arts.

In times of economic distress, it’s easy for people to marginalize the significance of art in our lives. Art is even more important now than ever as it provides the sparks of imagination and alternate modes of perception critical to finding new solutions and strategies.

Above all else, the arts are about community. Imagine our lives in the valley without the arts. Visitors wouldn’t have concerts or lectures to draw them here, our kids wouldn’t be exposed to the arts in a meaningful way and we would have far fewer opportunities to connect with one another at a summer concert, picnic or arts festival.

Thanks to The Center for creating a deeper and richer sense of community for us all.

Mark Eshman

Ketchum




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