Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The time has come, the walrus said.

Well, here it is. The last week.

It's time to pass my work on to everyone else. There's still two months until ArtsFest, and I have to leave everything halfway finished. I don't like that feeling. But, it's gotta be done.

The grant was turned in for AST with a week to spare. Whew. Now, we'll just have to wait and see the result.

I was planning on returning to DC with a new job, resulting from my internship last spring. As it turns out, that's not going to happen. The budget was cut an enourmous amount because Fenty (the DC mayor) had to cut the organization's earmark (a six digit figure). When you work in the arts, this kind of thing happens all the time. Arts are always cut first. But somehow, you never think it will happen to you. But it will, and it did. And it hurts, even though you know it's an inevitable, unavoidable, awful thing.

But, my summer internship has left me with a little encouragement. The city of Conway is growing by leaps and bounds, and so is the arts scene. My office has been in the city's Planning and Development office. Every day I go in to work, employees comes up to me with some story about a creative community seminar they've attended, or pictures of public art they've taken on vacation. They discuss wanting to implement what they've seen and heard. They want more murals downtown, affordable artist studios above downtown businesses, and public art in parks around town. I know, without a doubt, that Conway WILL find the money for these things because city officials understand the value of having arts play a major role in the heart of the city.

"The arts are an even better barometer of what is happening in our world than the stock market or the debates in congress."
-Hendrik Willem Van Loon, The Arts

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