The new year. 2021. Doesn't that feel wonderful to say?
Starting a new year has always felt fresh and energizing for me, but this new year feels a bit different. Those feelings of freshness and energy are there, but they have a coating of caution, of questioning — of wondering if it is OK to charge into the new year as I have in the past.
I believe many of us are feeling this same way. The past year was real doozy, to put it mildly. So many plans were made, goals set and adventures mapped out. Then the world came to a halt, and moving forward looked so different and intimidating.
Could we move forward? Would we get to any of those plans and goals we set for ourselves? Many of us faced these same questions and we had to step back to really look at what the goals were. What were we actually striving for? And that is when the magic happened.
Being forced to step back and reevaluate what had once been the plan allowed me to see what my passions were and reminded me how much I cared for promoting the arts and art education. The arts bring such diversity to a community and allow patrons of the arts to explore and push themselves to new creative ideas furthering a diverse culture. I wanted to make sure that through the uncertainty, the valuable Sheridan arts community would come out on the other side.
This brought me to the next stage. Yes, I had refocused my passion, but now what? I knew that for the time being we couldn’t experience art in the same ways we had before; we had to change. At SAGE Community Arts, we had to learn to think outside of the box to promote our local artists and keep public awareness of art while staying safe and moving through a pandemic. I believe that is exactly what took place.
In 2020, I was volunteering on the SAGE Board of Directors, and we were looking at what options we could pursue to continue to see and promote art in our community. I was able to take part in many new experiences for SAGE and its involvement with the community. We created films and livestreamed artist talks so we would continue to reach out to our artist members and patrons of art near and far that were unable to leave their homes.
As it grew to be safer to host events, we expanded our space out to the street for events such as Art Alley, allowing ample safe distancing while getting back to our beloved receptions and show openings. At the start of this new year we are able to have our classes continue in our classroom with adjusted enrollment sizes and times to work with safe distancing and reopening guidelines.
This past year was not easy, but it taught me so much of how to stay resourceful and strong to keep my passions going. Entering my new role as executive director of SAGE, my feelings of freshness and energy are as strong as ever. Even if there is that cautious coating as we look forward in to 2021, I say let's go! Jump in. Make plans, map adventures and see, create and promote art in this new year.