Why we need the arts
At a time like this, in the midst of the coronavirus crisis and with the Templeton Performing Arts Center shuttered for the foreseeable future, the arts may seem like a luxury, something we can live without, at least for a while. But they are not. As we know from past crises, theaters are needed more than ever; witness the Golden Age of cinema during the Great Depression and World War II. Yet this crisis is different – we cannot even flock to the theater to find solace. And while these days movies can be streamed at home, live theater and other arts venues such as museums, concert halls, and art galleries are more vulnerable than ever.
Shuttered theaters mean no ticket sales, no audiences, no way to pay the actors, directors, musicians, set designers, costume designers, tech crew, and all the other professionals who are essential in creating a live show for our pleasure. Even large, long-established organizations such as the Oregon Shakespeare Festival are negatively affected: OSF has had to lay off 80-percent of its full-time staff, artists, and seasonal workers and offer a truncated season running from September 8 to November 1. This is a financial hit that not all theaters will be able to recover from. And that’s why now, more than ever, theaters need our support. If we want to maintain the benefits of the arts in our lives, then supporting artists and theaters right now is essential.
What are those benefits? They’re not tangible, like the food we eat or the clothes we wear. But psychically, emotionally, they are just as important. Those benefits are best summed up by the great American playwright Terrence McNally, who tragically died on March 29 at the age of 81 from complications of coronavirus. Last year, in his acceptance speech for his lifetime achievement Tony award, McNally stated, “Theater changes hearts…the world needs artists more than ever to remind us what truth and beauty and kindness really are.”
In a recent story from the Washington Post, Henry Timms, president, and chief executive for the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, is quoted as saying, “The arts are such a human need. They help us find ourselves, and they help us find other people.”
In the same Washington Post story, Andrew Freiser, co-owner of a contemporary art gallery in New York City’s Chelsea district, is quoted as saying, “…if you have an interest in helping a young artist develop, this is a time to step up.”
Whether it’s a small and intimate venue such as the TPAC or a large venue such as the Lincoln Center, the arts need you. And you need the arts.
About Templeton Performing Arts Center Foundation
The Templeton Performing Arts Center Foundation is a non-profit organization created to support the operation and upkeep of the Templeton Performing Arts Center (TPAC). The TPAC was built through a combined effort of the Templeton Unified School District (TUSD) and the community. The basic structure was finished in 2003; the community then raised funds to furnish the auditorium, and outfit it with sound and lighting systems.
The TPAC is a hub for cultural events serving the people of North County and provides an institution for career and vocational technical education for Templeton High School students. Each of the 330 seats in this small, intimate setting has an unobstructed view of the stage. Its design makes it ideal for presentations by musical, dance, and theatrical groups, and for assemblies, lectures, and forums.
You can help our board of parents, teachers, counselors, current and retired administrators, business owners, and citizens who want to help promote the performing arts and the use and care of this facility. The foundation is seeking individuals and organizations to help in the following ways:
Become a member of the foundation board (planning and working events, organizational issues, donation solicitation, etc.).
Become a donor (Click here).
Support the foundation as a consultant on specific items (sound systems, electrical, planning events, stage production, video, sound, etc.).
Donate items to be used at fundraising events (goods & services).
Participate and attend future fundraising functions.