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From Our Homes to Yours: Welcome back to Meany!
We became co-presidents of the Meany Center Advisory Board in September, 2019. Since then, the country, and the whole world in fact, has gone through such an unprecedented crisis that it is hard to believe that only a year ago we were so eagerly looking forward to all the performances planned for the season.
Eight months later, we are still at home, longing for the time when we can once again come together to enjoy a good time over a shared meal with family, conversation with friends and a return to live performance at Meany Center with you.
Yet, we would like to believe that, despite all the losses the world has suffered in this crisis, there have been some gains, as well. Having to be holed up in our homes has given us time to nurture our individual creative energy. During Meany’s virtual gala, for example, we were amazed by all the wonderful talent, creativity and artistic passion that Meany staff and friends were nurturing in their respective homes and sharing through Meany’s Tiny Living Room Concerts. We would have never learned about them if not for the lock-down.
Above all, during the pandemic we have been so grateful for the overwhelming support Meany Center has received from all of you through your gifts to the Meany relief fund and through the faith that you have shown us by purchasing season subscriptions despite the uncertainty.
We now know that live performance on the Meany Stage will not be possible this Fall. However, the past few months have allowed Meany staff the time and opportunity to think deeply about how to make on-line performances much richer experience for both artists and audience and how to use them to broaden access to the arts beyond the limits of our 1200-seat theater—a tremendous benefit, even in the post-pandemic world.
We both come from different cultures (Yumi is Japanese; Cathy is from Taiwan) and we have traveled extensively in our lives. We know from personal experience that one of the most rewarding paths to understanding a new culture—or to gain new insights into our own—is to connect with it through the arts. Nothing can replace the shared experience of sitting together in a darkened theater, transported by a live performance, but through Meany On Screen, Meany Center aims to provide virtual events tailored to what online does best: allowing you different kinds of access to the art and the artists in ways that would be impossible in the Meany Theater.
We long for the end of this crisis. We look forward to the time when we can attend events again in person at Meany Center and everywhere. When we finally can, we will come together with greatly deepened appreciation of the sense of human connections created by sharing our love of live music and dance.
But in the meantime, we are really looking forward to experiencing the virtual performances by Circa, Ragamala Dance Company and Jeremy Denk from the comfort of our own cozy homes.
We hope you will all join us from yours!
Cathy Hughes, Co-President, Meany Center Advisory Board
Yumi Iwasaki, Co-President, Meany Center Advisory Board