One of the best parts of my job is getting to know our community. I often hear myself saying how proud I am to be part of the Jackson community, and how much I love our community, but what does that actually mean? The word community is such a buzz word now. It’s all over social media platforms and the internet. There are communities for business, garden associations, churches. Sub communities within communities – take Mom Communities. The Moms of Preschoolers community, Moms with teenagers community groups and even Moms who have preschoolers and teenagers community groups.
So what’s up with the community groups? Community can be described in several different ways according to the dictionary. It’s considered to be a group of people who live in the same area (such as a city, town, or neighborhood). I think of community as a combination of those things that share a common interest. Food, book club, mothers, newly widowed. Whatever common interest that draws you together.
I also see community as encouragement. As many of you know Jackson School of the Arts is in the middle of a capital campaign to move into the Masonic building downtown. We have been blessed by the outpouring of support from so many people in our community. Not just financial support, but support for myself and our executive director, Kim Curtis.
I will be in the grocery store and someone will notice my nametag and say, “Hey, I’m really excited for your new building, that will be great for downtown.” I was at the post office the other day and someone asked when the building would be finished because they think that it is the best thing to happen downtown in a long time. It makes me feel good to hear that people are pulling for us to succeed.
The support we have felt from those who have contributed money to our campaign has been amazing. From business who proudly call Jackson home to individuals who want to see Jackson be the best it can be. To me that is the common thread and something I take with me every day at work. I want Jackson to be the best it can be. I believe that an art center downtown will give people a reason to come downtown. Take a class, see an exhibit, meet a friend for lunch. Enjoy downtown Jackson.
I like to use the example of Bright Walls. If you were asked if you would come downtown to watch someone you didn’t know paint on a wall, you might think that was crazy. If you were asked to come downtown, listen to some great music, enjoy some food, see an artist paint a mural, watch kids dance and see friends – well, that is a different story. The new Jackson Center for the Arts leads the way in exceptional arts experiences. You can expect amazing things from us.
Thank you Jackson Community for so much. Thank you for caring! Thank you for your support and thank you for believing in the mission of Jackson School of the Arts.