Showing Up for Art

Posted on: March 8th, 2017 by Emily McSpadden GALA Articles No Comments

During this time of enormous political change, many of us are wondering how to best devote our efforts and focus toward action. Some have made phone calls to representatives, others have gotten on busses to D.C., and so many have marched in cities around the country and the world, with all of us still feeling strident divisions all around us. Despite so much ongoing disagreement, however, there are sometimes topics that can transcend political difference.

One issue that has long unified many New Yorkers is ongoing funding in support of the arts, which has often been at risk but seems now, more than ever, to be approaching the chopping block. The new administration is moving to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts, a change that will set into motion a bleak trend for arts funding on the whole in the United States. There will now be an overwhelming shortage of grants available to orchestras, operas, and choral music. This leaves artists of all stripes in a state of great risk, with many arts organizations fighting for their very existence in an increasingly hostile climate.

For this reason, those of us who love the arts must not only continue to make phone calls and march, but also take that extra step, even more than usual, to really show up for art. If there are exhibits or performances that would once have been mere possibilities to attend if time allowed, they now become mandatory events on the calendar. If non-profit arts organizations send out calls for donations or fundraising events, those now mean so much more to support and sustain. The very nature of New York City is one built on, and kept thriving by, its artistic community, without which it would lose so much of the character and vibrancy for which it’s always been known and loved the world over. Like many arts groups in NYC facing this new era of uncertainty, we at the Stonewall Chorale will continue to do what we love, creating and performing our art regardless of who is in office, and as long as there are those who would continue to support us by really showing up for art and music.

And when things seem bleak, remember to celebrate the love that is all around us.

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Emily McSpadden
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