Thursday, February 28, 2013

New friends from Maryland Arts Day

Hey there,

So I thought I'd just share one of the highlights of Maryland Arts Day, which if you didn't check out my Tweet Cheat Sheet for it, you should.

But other than connecting with legislators and public officials, I love the chance to catch up with colleagues in the arts you might not have seen in a while, as well as meeting new friends. So this blog's dedicated to several of them.

The first was actually someone I'd cross paths with before, but we didn't formally meet at that time. It was at the Creative MoCo's Arts & Economic Prosperity IV - Summit.

I remembered her because during one of the opportunities for discussion, she mentioned how she pays for her child to go to Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, DC because there isn't a comprable high school of the arts in Montgomery County. Granted, this isn't to say that there aren't MC high schools with good and quality arts programs, but I digress.

While waiting to meet with our district's delegates, all the arts advocates continued to get to know each other better, and she started telling her story. One of her current projects, if I remember correctly, is to provide a comprehensive resource for high school students and young adults, to know what their options for professional education, training, and development are, in the arts.

I thought this was admirable, and definitely hope to take more soon!!

The next new friend I made was actually a pair of gents involved with the Veteran Artist Program. Here's just an excerpt for the about page on their website.
The arts have been a powerful, therapeutic tool in the healing process for many combat veterans reintegrating back into society and transitioning back into civilian life. The arts, however, also represent something else. Hope. Dreams. A Future.
Whether it is painting, writing, performing on stage, acting in a movie, or singing opera, the possibilities are limitless. VAP exists to provide other veterans the encouragement, motivation, and means to follow their passion in unchartered territory. Through networking, collaborations, mentorship, and actual productions veterans can realize it is not too late to pursue their dreams.
They debuted this phenomenal PSA at Maryland Arts Day, "Art is an Option".

What's funny is that I'd actually connected with them earlier in the day, thanks to the #MDArtsDay2013 hashtag, so it was great meeting in real life. Definitely recommend you Like the organization on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter.

And a third new friend I made was Paula Ross, Director of Development at the Metropolitan Ballet Theatre & Academy. They've got a lot of amazing things going on and coming up, but one thing in particular she shared was how they started experimenting with Kickstarter, by way of doing a fundraiser for their upcoming production of Thumbelina. And the video was adorable!!

Plus, they made their goal, and then some!! They have one day left, and if you've worked in the arts, you know that there is always a need for more funding, so if you can afford to give any amount, I recommend you do.

Anyway, that's that. Just thought I'd share, because the DC area arts community just keeps getting smaller and smaller.

And I love it!!

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