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Take time to celebrate the arts

The arts are alive in Taylor County.

The local and regional fine and performing arts community is alive and vibrant.

The student musicians heading to state competition as part of a small group ensemble. The artist whose work is featured as part of a juried show and is being displayed in a gallery show. The actors who take to the stage and for the length of a play transport the audience to a Wonderland of sights and sounds and fantastical characters. The dancers who take to the stage and break out of their comfort zone to perform. The singers who lift their voices and share their passions. All of these deserve to be celebrated for their roles in making the community a better place to live.

Each week newspapers such as The Star News, run many pages of stories of athletes scoring runs, winning races and making goals. Stories of their ups and downs, victories and defeats, are written and shared. Dramatic pictures show the exaltation of victory and the agony of a loss that passed just out of reach. All of these are important stories to tell and share.

There are those who view the world in the perspective of winning and losing, and who see celebrating one person’s achievement as taking away from another’s opportunities for praise. This is an unfortunate perspective, since it places greater emphasis on measuring column inches rather than on impact.

The arts, in all their forms and glory, are capable of moving people much more and at a far deeper level than any game or contest could hope to achieve.

The winner or loser of a regular season sporting event will be recorded on some tally sheet as the details fade away quickly replaced by another game or another race.

A painting hanging on a wall continues to share its story for all who view it. The poet’s words bring order out of chaos and send the reader down paths less traveled wandering like a cloud, lonely floating in the sky. It is important to celebrate the hard work of the quilters who bring their artistic vision to life with scraps of cloth and patience and skill.

It is necessary to take time to celebrate the arts in all its forms. It is important to remember the hard work that goes into any performance and to cheer on those who fight down their fears and are able to bring joy while on the center stage.

We must as a community take time to thank all those involved in the arts and to celebrate the efforts of those in the fine and performing arts for the meaning they help bring to our world. As a community we must also show continued support from the arts, by attending shows, plays and performances and supporting groups like the Medford Area Performing Arts which has recently begun selling subscriptions to the 2024-2025 season. Recent weeks have been busy ones for the arts community at the local level. Each performance, each song played or voice lifted in song, each image crafted from ink and imagination is the culmination of significant effort, work and inspiration, despite how easy they may make it look in the moment.

Let us all take time to give a round of applause in celebration of our local artists and performers across all areas.