Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Lip Service hits the road

Gary takes a picture of the gallery at the House of Representatives at the AZ Arts Congress.

  Yesterday, Gary Walden, executive director of Theatrikos, Rebecca Cauthen, conductor of the Flagstaff Community Band, and I represented Flagstaff at the Arts Congress in Phoenix.  We met with Senator Steve Pierce and Representative Karen Fann to ask them to please try to stop the sweeps on the Arizona arts budget.

  Our state representatives were extremely gracious.  They said they would try to keep the money in the arts... but the reality of the state budget isn't too promising for that.

  So why do I still feel full of positive energy for the system and our arts in Arizona? 

  Mainly, it's because I started to remember that we live in a DEMOCRACY.  Our officials are supposed to listen to the people, to represent us.  And I guess, (well, I'll admit this to you now) I guess I kind of forgot that.  After listening to people in Egypt fight and protest for two weeks, I thought I might try to make my own voice heard for something that I care deeply about.

 So I broke out of my day-to-day world and started action towards the big picture.  The things that Gary, Rebecca, and I said may not make a difference tomorrow or next week.  But we believe that our presence started a ripple effect, that our awareness and concern helped our representatives see that we (and many others like us) care about the arts.  And they may remember that next time they have to vote for something.

  We get so stuck in our circles of influence--in our jobs, in our gang of peeps, in Flagstaff- that we forget the ways that we can expand our power.  I don't want to complain; I want to change!  If we aren't taking action towards our ideal future, then it must not matter to us that much.

 I'm just taking one more step away from lip service.  

With Senator Steve Pierce

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