As the end of the year approaches it invites us all to pause for reflection; review our successes, challenges and things we were unable to cross off our to-do lists. It feels as of late, due to political shenanigans, world issues and the environmental crisis we are often reflecting on the negative rather than finding time to celebrate anything hopeful.
Therefore despite funding cuts and on-going competition for limited dollars, I want to wrap this year up by celebrating the work done by the amazing LSA staff who continued to design and implement impactful programming in 2019 and are now preparing to take some well-deserved time off to relax and recharge.
I’m proud to share a few of our accomplishments as the year comes to a close; we engaged 160 grade, 8 students, in photography and spoken word workshops, inspired 81 seniors to paint, move, and share their stories during 54 individual workshops, attracted 46 community members to participate in four knowledge exchanges lead by community contributors, created a safe space for 12 LGBTQ2+ youth with a program focused on using the arts for advocacy, and have been privileged to work with 25 adult participants from Community Living as they prepare and practice their theatre pieces for a June 2020 debut.
We are fortunate to work in communities where we use the arts as a catalyst to nurture connections and break down silos. And during this festive season I am encouraging everyone to participate in the art of giving and the giving of art; to find ways to incorporate the arts into your holiday plans.
Explore the city and admire its architecture – the Aga Khan Museum, the Flatiron building, cozy up with a book by your favourite author, buy a piece of art from an artist you have long admired or support an emerging one, listen to a well-loved CD, better yet buy a new one, or even better purchase a concert ticket, see a live play, a dance performance, ponder the genius of good design, listen to a choir, immerse yourself into the world of cinema.
Art is an integral and essential component contributing to our quality of life. It creates wonder and awareness, challenges the status quo, shapes our thinking and encourages us to step outside of our comfort zone.
There are so many worthy arts organizations across this City; Lakeshore Arts is one of them. I encourage you to donate to an organization that uses the arts to make our City more vibrant, more livable, and kinder. Because in the end, we all win when we recognize and value the work created 365 days of the year by our artists and our arts workers. Be an arts champion, it is money well spent.
On behalf of the Board and Staff of Lakeshore Arts, we wish you a joyous holiday season and a kinder, more inclusive new year.
Susan Nagy, Executive Director