Reflections on a New Year

Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences and failing to achieve anything useful. ~ Margaret J. Wheatley (an American writer)

I’ve never made a New Year’s resolution…if something needs changing, improving, accomplished…my approach is to jump right on it.  This works well if you really know what the challenge is, but not so well if the new path isn’t clear. Ready, fire, aim might get you into trouble unless you’re willing to accept the risk of opening the wrong door. by Pamela Hulse Andrews

As you read this the confetti has fallen, the ball has dropped and the champagne has been popped—2015 is officially over and 2016 is underway. Reflecting on how this magazine and the purveyors of art in our community fit into the new year is pretty simple…engaging art and culture in our daily lives enriches our life experiences. The beauty of this resolution is that there’s no risk, every door opened in the arts arena will be rewarding.

Investment in the arts and cultural resources are benefiting our economy by supporting job growth, stimulating commerce and sustaining neighborhoods by stabilizing property values.

The establishment of the voter approved Bend Cultural Tourism Fund conceptualized by Doug La Placa at Visit Bend is proving to be an enriching prospect and economic advantage for Bend. The intent is to help attract cultural tourists during the shoulder seasons and winter months, when cultural tourism organizations are most active.

The first $125,000 of public funding to the arts helped launch the Bend Design Conference, enhance marketing for Bend Film, assemble the successful Edward Curtis exhibit at Atelier 6000 and this coming year will support the Bend A Cappella Festival at the Tower Theatre and World Muse with locally and internationally recognized artists, activists and social change leaders to celebrate International Women’s Day and kick-off Women’s History Month.

Creativity abounds in Central Oregon where communities benefit in multiple ways when there is a vibrant arts and culture base, which play an important role in improving the lives of ordinary people. People who engage in the arts are the ones who help communities thrive, says a 2006 study conducted by the National Endowment for the Arts.

If you’re like me and don’t make resolutions that can only be forgotten, broken and unreachable then think about putting a little more art into your life: visit at least one of our regional museums, attend a theatre performance and a concert, stay a little longer at a new gallery exhibit…partake of the enriching world of culture that is there to be enjoyed.

It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of day-to-day life with worldwide security distractions, political disparities and personal challenges. By exposing ourselves to culture, we remove ourselves from some of this insanity, our old routines and we get out of our comfort zones, altering our perspective.

By participating in culture and being exposed to different forms of art, you broaden the ways in which you can express yourself. It opens up your way of thinking so even if you’re not actively creating art, your ability to express yourself and communicate with others is enriched.






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