I want to be open and honest with you, not just as Operations Director of this arts festival but as a fellow human. I am going to ask you to give, and the only way I know how to do that is to give something to you in return. So I will give you a piece of my heart and the reason the Artist Fund is important to me.
It’s an arduous task to ask for anything these days and I have realized that’s because I am finding it difficult to give more of myself. I, like many of you, am struggling to put my life back together post quarantine. Too often I find the pieces just don’t fit the way they used to; they have changed shape, been broken, been duct-taped back together, or lost entirely.
When my life has been broken in the past, I have turned to the arts. Theatre has always picked me back up, or at the very least, kept me above water. It has been my therapy, my mode of transportation, my education, and my community. Theatre became my safe place before I was old enough to know I needed one. I need theatre to move forward. Maybe you do, too?
Collectively we need to challenge thoughts, seek to understand, heal, and dream what this world will look like in the future. We need to examine the past, learn from it, and grow. We need to laugh. We need to weep. We need art to inspire us to take the scattered puzzle pieces of our lives and create something new, something better, something worthy of our struggle.
The artists who receive the Artist Fund stipends will tell the story that someone needs to hear, or the story that makes someone feel heard. You might be that person. I might be that person.
So I am here to advocate for the stories that must be told and must be heard, and the effect every artist coming to #HFF21 will have on our community. I am personally donating to this fund, not because I can afford to, but because I can’t afford not to.
Thank you for being a part of this community. Thank you for showing up and sharing your talent, your story, and your spirit with this festival. You, as an individual, are a vital contributor to the Hollywood Fringe. Our festival is merely a platform for the many voices that show up each year.
So please, give so that you might heal so that you might help someone heal so that we can all move forward.