To the Editor:
The first time I was asked to speak at the Warwick Center for the Arts, I walked in and thought, “My goodness, what a marvelous gem of a building right here in the center of Warwick.” It had it all: lighting, a stage, coziness, character, color, warmth and, as added value, art, freestanding, on the walls and invading the corners, making everything come alive. More so, it had a convivial group of enthusiastic people, a welcoming committee that made me feel as if I had known them forever – warm, inviting, ingratiating and more than anything, proud; proud of their building, what they had made of it and what they put in it.
Lucky me. I felt a part of a place that is a community magnet. I thought, “Now here’s a place that has made a difference. It encourages people to interact, not only with the arts, but also with the space; a work of art unto itself.
Sure, I am a proponent of the catchy phrase “Ya gotta have art.” We all need art, and not just for high-brow reasons. But ya gotta have it where the people can absorb it, display it, learn it, live it. And what is most fulfilling is to have a building that owns it, loves it, breathes it. It becomes part of a life.
The arts have an essential impact on our lives because it enriches. It matters where it is. It matters that the space is proportionate to the artist, that the space promotes and encourages the artist, that the space says to the public, “Come in. Come in. Look at what we have for you and look at where we have it.”
Here in Warwick, you have a magnificent venue to enhance all of the above – right here and in a most perfect venue. Celebrate it, advocate for it, participate in it.
Why in the world would you jeopardize it?