Forty years ago, when the Flynn was still a movie house, a group of music theater folks approached the then owner of the theatre, Merrill Jarvis. These entrepreneurs knew the Flynn was built in 1930 as both a film and vaudeville palace and they wanted to put on a show. Backstage, behind the movie screen, there were inches of dust on the stage equipment that had not been used for decades.
There's a tradition in the Vermont House of Representatives for someone to speak briefly at the start of every session with a few inspirational words. Today I had that honor and shared some lessons I’ve learned - for legislators’ amusement, and I hoped, edification. First I explained I'm the owner of a Shetland pony that I’ve trained to pull me in a cart. She’s boarded with thirty-three other horses at a stable in Williston.
Recently I participated on two funding panels: the National Endowment for the Arts for theater projects and a California foundation for commissioning new music. Artistic excellence was a key criterion on both panels.
Defining quality used to be easy, although taste was always a mitigating factor. Now in our multicultural society, it is more complex. No longer can we calibrate merit solely through a Eurocentric framework.
Every summer, exuberance for the outdoors overtakes me. During the rest of the year, I’m an omnivore consuming performances, exhibitions, and movies in darkened spaces. Now I celebrate sun, sky, and even rain, with Vermont’s agricultural offerings.