The arts play critical roles in communities and societies that are not easily recognized.
They nurture health, resilience and evolving our collective communities. The need for them is especially acute in times of dramatic transition, confusion, chaos, dishonesty, uncertainty, anger, fear, and trauma. Shakespeare knew this, including the dynamic in plays.
We are in troubled times: perhaps in unprecedented degrees and ways. There is no getting around it. Having aware and mature social places to be present in conversation about our challenges promotes resilience and coping. Supporting the arts supports ourselves, our families, our community, country and world.
Little Theatre of Wilkes-Barre, and their current production “Angels is America” is but one example. This prescient play, set in the 1980s articulates issues more manifest and traumatic today then they were then: prejudice, immigration, abuse of power, greed, inequality, trash talk, the loss of rational civil discourse, and living fully even with trepidation about where our world is going.
Fortunately, it also poignantly demonstrates what honesty, courage, compassion and forgiveness look and feel like, avoiding simplistic answers and easy moralizing. It is not for the faint of heart.
When people locally serve in the arts they function as “Angels in America,” miraculously expressing and nourishing better angels, often tirelessly, and with ingenious thrift. The Wyoming Valley struggles with enormous issues that try men’s souls, and will continue to. The arts play a critical role in our evolution, or lack thereof.
Let’s give the better angels a lift.
Robert E. Griffin