Arts & Culture: Diversity Dialogue

Cultural Diversity and Inclusion in the Arts in New York State’s Southern Tier

It’s Just About the Invitation

So often, it’s just about the invitation, it is about who is asked to participate.

How a seed, kindly planted, grows and grows, bears fruit, nourishes, extends and creates more. When the Rockwell Museum presented the Thomas Hart Benton exhibit, I was invited to create something in response to it.

The work on the production was a gift.  I undertook research, reading unfamiliar writers from another era –Literature of the Thirties– with concerns of the past century. 

This suggested to me a wide range of readers, a variety of voices, different ages, genders, ethnicities, cultures.  Among the performers I invited was a man named older-than-me man named Stanley. Stanley created his own production within the production: The Laughing Man.  

This project connected me to Stanley in a new a special way, and the performers to each other. Whenever we met, subsequent to this, for years later there was always this shared spark of recognition.  

As different as we were, there was a kindred yearning and appreciation.

This bridge building, education, and connecting is the glory of the arts.

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