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Thank You ceramic gears from Benjamin Logan Middle School

By All Indications

On November 25, 2020, the New York Times published Ohio Poet Laureate Kari Gunter-Seymour’s poem “By All Indications.” The newspaper had asked poets laureate from across the country to discuss what people in their respective states had to be thankful for despite the difficult year—our first full year living through the coronavirus pandemic.

What a treat it was then to read poems from across the country. You could almost look past the challenges of our times and toward the promise of the future we strive to live in, here today.

I am reproducing Kari’s poem below because I believe that Ohioans were, and still are, grateful. Give yourself a moment to reflect on Kari’s words from last fall and how they might resonate with you today.


By All Indications

I spent time today studying

forehead lines, linked into yet another

Zoom meeting, my screen a window

of windows inside a dollhouse.

I like to think I have good ears

and what I hear from Ohioans

is this — grateful.

Grateful for a governor who believes

in masks and distancing, feeding

displaced school children, and poetry.

 

Grateful for an unusual autumn of sun

and balmy breezes prevailing

well into November, leaves clinging

to their colors like a Matisse painting

or a toddler with a fist of Crayolas.

The election is over. Time moves,

then moves again, and forehead lines

are bar charts, flesh and bone

diagrams of courage.

— Kari Gunter-Seymour, Ohio Poet Laureate


By all indications, the arts sector is, indeed, grateful. Our arts leaders are holding fast to their visions and strategies. Elected leaders continue to demonstrate historically strong levels of local, state, and federal funding for our sector, and the arts are coming back in a big way!

Like Kari, I have good ears and the message is clear: Folks are grateful. To follow are excerpts from you, representing just a few of the many letters of thanks that we’ve received at the Ohio Arts Council:

“The Museum weathered the pandemic and we are back to operating at full capacity…” – Jessimi Jones, executive director, Springfield Museum of Art

“OAC’s support helps to protect our beloved historic theatres, teach our community’s students, support Columbus’ resident arts organization, celebrate tomorrow’s stars today, and build bonds among people in our community who share in the joy of live performance together. All this and more are possible because of you. Thank you.” – Chad Whittington, president and CEO, Columbus Association for the Performing Arts (CAPA)

“I just wanted to reach out and give you big virtual hug & thank you for helping me get through the recent OAC application process - your assistance made all the difference and we were awarded the grant!” – Kris Harrison, secretary, Mt. Victory Community Improvement Corporation of Hardin County

“We believe the performing arts enhance the life of our community. We are following COVID developments closely and we will keep the safety of our audiences and performers our top priority. Regardless of how things develop, we are prepared to share the arts, in person or virtually.” – Patrick J. Nugent, president and CEO, Dayton Performing Arts Alliance

“After having to fill out numerous federal grant applications this past year-and-a-half, I have developed a new level of appreciation for how well the OAC runs its grants process and how clear the instructions are on the grant applications. Thank you for all you have done to support arts organizations during the pandemic.” – Meeghan Humphrey, executive director, Ashtabula Arts Center

In celebrating this season of thanks—and in acknowledging Kari’s thanks, Ohioans’ thanks, and your own thanks—please allow me now to add my thanks, on behalf of all of us at the OAC:

Our staff is honored to support the arts sector. At the Ohio Arts Council we are grateful for the people we have the privilege to engage with each day.

We are grateful to our board who is dedicated to our mission to fund and support quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically.

Our agency is grateful to Governor Mike DeWine, Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted, and the Ohio General Assembly for their generous support of the arts through the Ohio Arts Council. In the current fiscal year and next, a total of $40 million has been allocated for the arts, and last autumn the arts sector received $20 million in one-time CARES Act funds. That’s millions of reasons to be grateful.

By all indications, the Ohio Arts Council is here to serve you and the entire arts sector, and we are grateful for it. Wishing you and yours a happy holiday season of thanks.

Until next time,

Donna Collins signature


Donna S. Collins
Executive Director

Featured photo: A ceramic mosaic project from Benjamin Logan Middle School in Bellefontaine, Ohio. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Davis, Benjamin Logan Middle School.



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