Dear IAF Community,
This week I had the good fortune of attending two holiday concerts. The first was to see our very own Marshall Hawkins and Greg Robbins conduct a big band for the Redlands Symphony holiday concert. The second performance was with the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles where IAF’s former V.P., Summer, and Auxiliary Programs was performing. Both concerts were invigorating and uplifting, as one would expect, but the added element was that we were able to be together, in person, for these holiday traditions for the first time in two years. The energy was palpable.
Being in these audiences made me think about how fortunate our students have been to return to campus this school year, to make art individually and collaboratively, and to have the appreciation and support of a community of like-minded peers. The energy that was discernible at the holiday concerts can be found at Idyllwild Arts Academy throughout the year. We are grateful to our teachers who challenge and nurture our students and we are proud of our students who have had to overcome obstacles over the past two years in order to pursue their passion as young artists.
As we prepare to put the year 2021 in our rearview mirror, it would be easy to remember the challenges and perhaps losses that many of us have encountered. But the holiday season comes each year to remind us that it is the people we love and the lives we touch every day that gives meaning to life.
I leave you with a quote from Thich Nhat Hanh that was recently shared with me: “Waking up this morning, I smile. Twenty-four brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion.”
As we usher in the year 2022, we do so with hearts full of gratitude for the families that chose Idyllwild Arts, for the patrons who support us, for the faculty and staff who go above and beyond to teach and support our students, and to the young artists who believe in the transformative power of art and give us hope for a very bright future.
Wishing each of you good health during this holiday season and the happiest of New Years.
Idyllwild Arts Foundation