When I was a little girl, my mother made sure I was exposed to books, music, movies, and live theater. She explained these were important ways to learn about and experience culture. The lessons “took,” and my support for the arts cemented. My entire life I’ve been an avid consumer and patron of the arts. (In fact, one of my job titles for several years was Fine Arts Department Chair at Thornton Township High School.)
Arguably, the least accessible of these forms of art is live theater, yet it is the most potent. I’m exhilarated every time the curtain rises, and I’m right there in the same room with the entertainers. Whether the show is a concert, a play, a comedy act, a dance troupe, acrobatics, or a visit with a celebrity, I’m enthralled by the talent and energy emanating from the stage.
For me, the arts are what make civilization civilized. They spin the threads that connect people of all races, creeds, and nationalities, so much so that throughout history, tyrants have sought to subvert the arts. One need only look to a society’s artistic expressions to understand its heart.
I’m proud to be a patron and supporter of The Grand 1894 Opera House in Galveston, Texas, my hometown. The Grand is one of America’s historic theaters. The building itself is a treasure. The art deco touches make the view from the stage, according to performer Michael Buble, “a veritable birthday cake.”
The Grand’s new season opens on September 17 with Three Dog Night. The rest of the season is stellar, as well, with shows as diverse as Fiddler on the Roof, the music of Sam Cooke, Seong-Ji Cho pianist, and Jose Feliciano.
I’ve served as program chair, executive board secretary, and president-elect of The Grand, and I’m excited to take the reins of the presidency next month. I’ll continue to work hard to keep our theater the vibrant hub of culture it is in our city, and to keep the arts alive in all communities across the globe. I hope you’ll do the same, and if you’re headed my way, let me know. I’ll send you information about The Grand!
Saralyn Richard is the author of five books, including Naughty Nana, Murder in the One Percent, A Palette for Love and Murder, A Murder of Principal, and Bad Blood Sisters. She loves connecting with readers and invites you to subscribe to her monthly newsletter via the website: http://saralynrichard.com.