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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Dreams, Disappointment, and Growth

Hello all!  This is Leigh Anne Chambers, Executive Director from the Bossier Arts Council and I have some thoughts I must share.  This past week I've had the very good fortune to be surrounded by Bossier Parish's youth and its left me pondering some very important questions and concerns.    First, let me say that I am blown away by the talent and accomplishments of our youths and their educators.  However, somethings became very clear to me this week and one of those things was that these kids believe that their is no hope for a career in the creative industry.  

I spent my mornings judging the Senior Projects for Bossier Parish High School and Tuesday evening celebrating the talent of our Elementary, Middle School, and High School visual arts students in our Annual Bossier Parish Student Art Show, and this afternoon I will be meeting with our Budding Artist Association (our Jr. Arts Council).  I personally love being around students of all ages and experiencing their creativity and enthusiasm for life and for artistic exploration and process.

When speaking with these students and their parents I heard the phrase "I am so glad that they will have this hobby for the rest of their lives."  While I think arts (visual, performing, literary) can be a great hobby it can and is often more than that for a large number of the population.  Because I earned two liberals arts degrees and have spent all of my adult life being employed in the arts I know that it can be a career option.  Most everyone I know works in the creative industry or creatively in general business society.  Most of those individuals are employed and no more are unemployed than my High School friends who reflect careers in non creative fields.

It is a viable career path.  It can lead to employment.  Although we will all make sacrifices or adjustments to the needs of living or paying for things we want we can earn a living doing something we love.  My Dad told me when I was a High School Senior that I would spend most of my life working and if that was the case I should think long and hard about what I loved doing.  And I did and I haven't regretted it yet.  Perhaps its been more difficult path than others, but I believe its been a rewarding one.

That's why I am glad that my choices lead me to the Bossier Arts Council.  That I have the pleasure of working for an organization that is trying to share with our community about alternative career paths.  Our DigiFest South is all about that topic.  And even to me its been an eye opening experience.

I leave you with a well know poem by Robert Frost.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

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