Ten years ago, I was a wide-eyed college sophomore who walked into an audition for something called “The Poe Project” by Core Theatre Ensemble. I had no idea what I was getting into, but I had recently discovered how much I enjoyed theatre and I wanted to give it a try.
Fast forward ten years. Now an official member of Core, I’ve traveled to foreign countries, made lifelong friends, and gained a better understanding of what it means to be human, all thanks to that one audition. I can point to clear examples of how art has changed my life for the better, and the other members of Core can all do the same.
Art enriches all of our lives. Whether you’re making art or experiencing it, it brings beauty to the human condition. That’s worth fighting for, whether your “fight” is finding a rehearsal space, finding an hour or two in your week to go check out a show, finding room in your budget to support the arts, or all of the above.
The members of Core are familiar with fighting for our art. We’ve persevered for a decade now on a shoestring budget and sheer willpower, funding our work with our day jobs while spending late nights in rehearsal. The time we spend creating art is precious to us, so we continue to carve it out.
It’s an interesting time for the arts. Both the insight and escapism art provides are sorely needed, today and always. Those who find themselves discouraged in the current political climate may find the arts to be doubly beneficial — providing both an escape from politics and an opportunity to enrich ourselves and our communities.
But with support from the National Endowment for the Arts in jeopardy, many arts organizations may soon find it harder than ever to produce and promote their work. Surviving the next four years will require creative problem solving and tenacity. We’ll all have to fight for the right to make and experience art.
If you like to make art, keep making it. If you like to experience art, keep showing up. We’re all allies in the battle to retain our humanity and expand our horizons. We’re all participants in an ongoing conversation about what life means, and we all need to hold up our end of that conversation.
I never imagined what I was getting into when I walked into that audition a decade ago, nor did I imagine what I would get out of it. But I’ll keep fighting for art for years to come. I hope you will, too.
Core Theatre Ensemble is celebrating ten years with a 10th Anniversary Masquerade Friday, January 27th at Work Release. For tickets and information, visit here.