Thursday, April 26, 2012

The View from the Big Chair

Christine asked me to write a blog. I’ve never been much of a blog guy, even though I worked professionally in the media throughout the dawn of internet and the birth of on-line social media. Oh sure, I’m computer and web savvy, having reported on them for years, but blogs were just not my thing – not quite a magazine article and just more than a Larry King column – to me that’s what a blog is, and frankly, only a couple have been turned into movies, and they weren’t all that good.

The last time I wrote one of these I ended up with a long form essay, that was really just an extension of a movie review I’d given earlier, and I’m really trying to avoid that here.

Christine wanted me to talk about Native Earth or my time here as President and on the Board of Directors. Here’s what I’d say: it’s been my honour and privilege to serve on the Board at NEPA and as its president for so many years. I’m extremely proud of the company, and how far it’s come from when I first joined, moving offices, expanding staff and budgets, while providing a stage for our artists to tell their stories. I’ve loved working with the artists in the company and they’re the ones that have truly realized so many of the company’s goals these past few years, with Yvette and Tara leading the way. I will be so happy to sit in a seat in the new theatre and watch a performance in a space that NEPA manages and I know that while that will be a realization of one goal, other, grander goals lay ahead for a company that I believe will occupy an even more vital and larger position in this country’s cultural landscape in the years to come. There – that’s the official pitch for NEPA.

I would also say that I love this company and what it represents; how it connected me with people and a culture one can feel divorced from in the big city and one that wasn’t always part of my life due to events in the past. NEPA will always be a part of who I am, because it’s taught me so many things and helped me in ways I won’t even attempt to capture in a blog post. I truly believe that art can help elevate our people even in difficult times, and while there have been many of those, we triumph because we never stop creating.

Chi Miigwetch NEPA, for all you have given me these years and for all that will give all of us in the years to come.

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