Dear Performing Arts Workshop,
I’m been meaning to tell you this for some time now, but let me just come right out and say it.
I love you.
You introduced me to the San Francisco Bay Area, made me cry with joy on a regular basis, and produced a pride in my own self-development that no one else could give me.
From when I first walked into your tiny two-room cell space in Fort Mason eight years ago as a fresh faced intern, to leaving your high ceiling industrial loft in Dogpatch as a fully fledged manager – you have been a constant in my life. You changed who I was and put me on course for who I am becoming.
Dear friend, are you surprised? You shouldn’t be.
Let me illustrate some of the myriad ways that you stole my heart.
You are staffed by amazing do-gooders; people who care about and make your mission happen in real and tangible ways. Administrative staff, teaching artists, board members, and executive leadership: all are astounding individuals who have taught me so much and continue to surprise. These loving and funny people who know how to throw a party as well as the thrill of a student taking a risk in the classroom for the first time have wheedled you into my heart and I can’t let go.
You’ve been a leader in arts education since 1965. For almost half a century you’ve changed people’s lives including my own. You took me through two and a half strategic plans and each new version of you has been stronger and increasingly focused. That freshness and forward thinking is, dare I say it, sexy.
I believe in you. I believe in helping young people develop critical thinking, creative expression and essential learning skills through the arts. Is there a better way to learn how to be human? Is there a better way to discover the power we have to create and influence the world around us? I don’t think so.
Need I say more?
I know our time together is drawing to a close, just as all relationships do. Please know that you’ve made me a better person, as I hope I’ve helped you grow successfully.
I wish you only the best, dear Workshop, as I know you wish for me.