Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Time of Transition

The Arts Council’s annual meeting is always a time for reflection—a time to say goodbye to wonderful trustees who are rotating off our Board and welcome new trustees who are eager to serve.

It is a time to consider all the plans we made last year and consider what we achieved and what we let go; a time to celebrate the many considerable successes of artists and arts organizations across Vermont and the role, sometimes large, sometimes not, the Council had in helping to make those successes happen. And it is a time to reflect on the state of our sector and on how we are doing.

Later this week we will recognize three people without whom the arts in Vermont would have taken on a considerably different kind of character than it has for the past 20 or 30 years. Jane Ambrose, Jean Olson, and Andrea Rogers have all announced their retirement and we will be honoring them with our Cerf Lifetime Achievement Award at our Annual Meeting later this week.

Their retirements from The Governor’s Institutes, The Lane Series, and The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, respectively, signal a generational shift in the arts from those who successfully managed their way through the culture wars of the 80s and 90s to those who have cut their teeth on the new technologies and new political realities of the 21st century.

The pace of change is constantly gathering speed. The number and variety of art forms grows faster and faster. Opportunities that lead to success or failure increase with each passing season. Technologies that used to attach us to a desk now allow us to do our work anywhere, any time, all the time.

So it is good to pause at least once a year and take stock. Celebrate those whose work has affected so many others. Catch up with old and new friends.

Join us at our Annual Meeting, this Thursday at 4 pm in the Vermont State House. If nothing else, it will be a welcome change of pace.

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