Dear FOA Family,
The past 8 years have been amazing. I’m humbled often at how my prayers for this wonderful place continue to be realized. This FOA family has grown from welcoming thousands per year to tens of thousands per year. We’ve doubled the number of people to whom we provide free or reduced cost arts experiences. And we’ve learned how to continue serving our community even in the most difficult of circumstances. With those types of achievements under our belt, I can only imagine the growth and learning that is part of our bright future!
It is the beginning of a new chapter in the story of the FOA. I will no longer be at the helm as Executive Director, but it has been such a privilege to be a member of this family for 20 years, first, as a teacher and director, then serving on staff as Community Development Director, then Artistic Director. We’ve had some fun on crazy difficult productions like Titanic and Les Miserables, even beginning brand new programming like Perspectives Art Contest, Oasis Arts & Eats Festival, and First Fridays at the Forum. No doubt we will do more as we continue our prayers for the FOA and the family and friends who are touched by it.
But, with respect to the past, there’s an old Indian proverb that goes something like,
Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today. Just enough, just enough.
With anticipation toward the future, let’s remind ourselves that the Foundation of Arts is more than just a non-profit, a business, or even a set of programming; it is a group of people who work together to serve and welcome the creative needs of the community, as volunteers, professionals, and staff members of all categories, races, religions, and socio-economic levels. This mission is ever-expanding because as Northeast Arkansas grows, so should we. No matter how we identify ourselves, we are all artists, created to be so, and unified at the FOA because of that fact. As we welcome everyone to be an artist here, I believe that we will continue to be blessed because we demonstrate this belief in our actions and words.
Knowing this doesn’t mean we lose sight of striving for excellence in our art. Always rising, always improving in how we teach, direct, create, and offer new opportunities is highly important in serving our community.
With this in mind, a new chapter for me begins as well. While I’m excited to still serve on staff part-time as Artistic Director, I’ll have the opportunity to start a coaching and consulting business and spend more time with my family and friends. I hope you’ll keep in touch and keep me in your prayers as I am also growing, learning new things, and seeking new ways to serve the community.
My prayers continue for every person who walks through the doors of the FOA. Mikel Wewers, and the rest of the staff take the lead this month, and I can’t wait to see the beauty they help us create in the future.
With gratitude and a heart for the arts,