Celebrate arts in the new year | TheUnion.com

Celebrate arts in the new year

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice. And to make and end is to make a new beginning.” — words and wisdom by T.S. Eliot.

Let’s contemplate the new year and the beginning of the next epoch as it relates to the arts in Nevada County, a county that reputes a rich and colorful history. A history that began with the indigenous natives who migrated across this land as the seasons changed, leaving behind petroglyphs and sacred songs to the miners and their families who came for the gold and silver and stayed, leaving behind a legacy of folk song and dance.

Today the current economic sectors that contribute to the diversity of this region include small and medium-sized businesses, manufacturing, video broadcast, high technology, retail, tourism, education, health care and, of course, the arts.

Yes, the arts abound, but they are not here by chance or happenstance. It required vision, dedication, perseverance, a keen eye and ear and the challenge to move forward despite the difficult odds.

“What’s the importance of the arts?”

The arts are important because most of what you come into contact with on a daily basis was either designed, created, drawn, produced or visualized by an artist. For instance, who sculpted the body of the car you drive? Who designed the clothes you wear? The chair you sit in? The music you listen to?

The arts are important because they have a significant impact on all ages and all peoples.

When a child is introduced to the arts, it encourages critical thinking, problem solving and communication and fosters social skills. When the arts are integrated at the high school and college level there is an increased understanding of math and the sciences and the ability to innovate. Even when the arts are introduced into the penal system, there is less occurrence of recidivism among the inmates. When the arts are presented to the elderly, there is a perceived sense of joy and comfort.

The arts are integral to the society in which we live because they build community and culture. For this reason alone, the arts will flourish in the New Epoch.

Let me ask you, “What do you want to create that will enhance our community and culture?”

What legacy do you want to leave behind, like those who came before us?

As the New Year begins, give me a call, send an email or let’s have a conversation over a cup of coffee. I’ll be waiting to hear from you.

In the meantime, if you want to know more about what’s coming up in the new year, please go to our website at http://www.nevadacountyarts.org.

Larry L. Ortiz is the executive director of Nevada County Arts. Nevada County Arts facilitates collaborative efforts that promote and sustain the visual, literary and performing arts of Nevada County in order to advance the cultural, social and economic life of our community.

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