Our experience as husband and wife working with ferals over the years shows the utter futility of herding cats. And the same thing goes with artists! An art colony is much more like a collection of empires jostling with their neighbors’ borders. Each a powerhouse of creativity!
I heartily commend the Newburyport Art Association for at least making the attempt.
Now as you know from my blogs and website, I largely don’t dabble into the art community here in Newburyport. My main focus is to enhance and preserve Newburyport’s infrastructure…and to promote it’s well-being. There are better blogs and websites here locally that deal with such things, such as Comity.org, Newburyport Arts, the Newburyport Blog and Newburyport Today. Even those with a more commercial and entertainment lean do an excellent job such as Newburyport Guide and Newburyport.com.
So bear with me on this line of thought. One of the other things that I am endeavoring to do is to defeat The Curse. One of the things that drew international visitors to Rockport for years was the presence of a vibrant art colony. Though the current residents may stridently disagree with me, that draw has largely moved on to another location…Newburyport. We don’t make a big deal about it BUT WE SHOULD! With the influx of an ever growing tide of new residents, it is all too easy for us to lose that cherished group of creative souls. I just came back from New York and each time, as conservative as I may be, I am aghast that Greenwich Village is becoming, yes, horrors, a place for families! Any shell of its former self is paraded around like an old relic just for the sake of the tourists.
And what about our ancient culture? It is being sapped away and even ridiculed. Reduced to YEAT bumper stickers and our local terms cast aside.
That is why the local establishment of the cultural district is so important. The city can no longer take for granted the presence of our art community. As I champion with others to remember our history and protect our Newburyport Historic District; we need to make sure artists of all sorts can thrive here. I strongly commend our local banks and businesses and the Newburyport Cultural Council* for working hard to make sure our starving artists aren’t starving.
Working together, we can protect our culture and history and use it all to promote more visitors to Newburyport who will be expecting to see a healthy, vibrant community with a high quality of life. They may come once but if there is nothing to see here, they won’t be coming back.
* Yes, I am biting my conservative lip and drawing blood to resist the impulse to say it’s a waste of money! I just keep saying to myself, “For Newburyport’s sake, it is vital to our community’s health!”.