July 20, 2014

Progress in the Glow of Summer

Reading Time:   2 mins

The other morning, I had the chance to speak with a group of educators and artists attending Lincoln Center Education’s various summer programs.  Roundtable board member Jessica Handrick had set up a panel discussion specifically about the Roundtable, and how it can accomplish things for the collective of arts educators, that no individual and no arts organization could possibly accomplish alone.  Also on the panel were current and former RT board members Joanna Massey, of Carnegie Hall, and Alex Sarian, of Lincoln Center Education.

Three things struck me.  One was how much has happened in this astonishing year – really, in the last six months.  I still feel I’ve awoken in a parallel universe where the city leadership all believe in arts education and in developing it equitably across schools, as fast as possible.  If you haven’t been following this, you may have a pleasant surprise in store. Read NYC announcement.

Then as Alex talked about the advocacy steps that led to this moment – however indirectly – I was reminded of how organized, unified, and perhaps even sophisticate we have become as a field.  The Roundtable, on behalf of all of us, has been invited to the Table.  But this would never have happened had we not kept fighting the good fight.

Finally, realizing that at least half our audience were artists and educators from outside New York, I had to reflect on how special this New York community is, how fortunate we all are that those who came before us built this Roundtable where we come together to learn and to advocate.  Because there really is nothing quite like it anywhere else.

How wonderful to finish a year with a measure of satisfaction!  And a new set of challenges, different from those before but no less daunting.  And thank goodness, a summer with some down time right ahead.

Ted Wiprud, Co-Chair