I’m so excited to be spending so much time brainstorming and planning for new workshops and classes that I’m doing throughout the community. Hence the blog post, I've just got to get all of these good vibes out somehow or I’m going to burst! It feels so great to come up with an idea, find other people who are excited and supportive about it, plan the thing, do the thing, then do it all over again! Even if that idea is just "my website needs more lightning bolts" I can just make that happen and it feels great. This freelance thing is all feeling like a really good fit.
The two workshops at the Hanson Public Library I ran on January 2nd really helped me ring in the New Year with a smile. I felt like I was on a high for the rest of the night, so much so that my lovely assistant and friend Meghan Dinsmore and I went for celebratory pizza and beer at Damien’s afterwards. While there we chatted with our waitress Kristi who is family with two of my “community supporters” (more on that later) and has also taken one of my classes. Such a great feeling to be making these connections and bumping into people who know me for my art and teaching throughout the community. I never expected to be feeling so at home in my hometown. I’m really settling down and it feels so good. For so long I've itched to move away or live in a city, and while I still think that maybe I’ll do those things at some point in my life, I’d be happy to not do them for another 20 years.
One of the reasons that I felt like I had to move was because I didn't feel that there was a place for me here to jump into and feel satisfied as an artist educator who wanted to work outside of the school system. There are plenty of community centers and museums with the types of programs I want to work in if you head to Boston and any other city around the country, some more artsy and accessible than others, but where were these places on the South Shore? I wasn't sure. It’s true, there are a few great art centers on the South Shore, including one that I am happy to have a role in as their Visual Arts Coordinator (Laura’s Center for the Arts), but I have not been able to find consistent full-time employment in the field which has left me at times feeling dejected and as though perhaps I am in the wrong place physically, if not also in my career choice. These struggles have forced me to look at my personal network and community as well as within myself to see if I can carve out my own space in this physical location in this chosen career, instead of continuing to look around for it. I want a space where I can grow my ideas at my own pace and get involved with others who have similar goals. A space where I can connect with artists of all ages and provide opportunities for people to stretch and explore their artistic selves. Okay, I’m getting really crunchy so I’m going to put the brakes on and jot down a quick list of my Community Supporters that I am so grateful to have in my life.
Cara Cappellini and Leeann Trigler at Whitman WellnessCenter. These two have been supportive since day one, which must have been almost two year ago now, on this journey for me. They have created a space that truly serves the community through their varied offerings and the consistent support they provide to people like me who want to give some legs to an idea.
Kate Godwin and Nancy Cappellini at the Hanson Public Library have invited me back several times to run classes in their space. I am so happy to partner with them because they truly see their space as a place for all members of the community and they strive to make it accessible to all. Through their generosity and the generosity of the Friends of the Library I have been able to run classes there at a lower cost, opening up the program to a wider audience.
Local artists such as Meghan Dinsmore, Paula Tamara Hoss, ShannonMcDonald, Scott Francoeur, Emily Lincoln, Matt Tanner, Lisa Hegenberger, and Mike Mariano (click their names for links to their stuff!) who have all shown me in different ways that it is possible to have an artsy idea, run with it, and actually make it happen. Love you all and am so happy to be surrounded by your dedicated, creative, and entrepreneurial spirits.