Official Statement from Lauren Candia, President of Shades & Shadows:
As we head into an almost Twilight Zone era, it has become increasingly necessary to figure out what is important to us. Not just as a nation, but on a deep, personal level. What is important to us? Is what we’re doing here important?
Over the last few years, I’ve been working in arts advocacy and looking at studies to support the inclusion of art as an essential area of study, taken as seriously as science, technology, engineering, and math. If there is anything I take away from all of the studies I’ve read, it is that the future is not possible unless we first have the creative capacity to imagine it. When we, as writers, build new worlds and new rules to existence, we are laying down the blueprints for real innovation.
So you can’t imagine how upset I was to learn that this incoming administration plans to cut the NEA and the NEH. Should that happen, it will be clear that this president does not care about the arts and that he does not understand what a mistake it is to underestimate the vital roles artists play in every aspect of our lives.
It’s up to us to take care of each other. It falls on each one of us to make sure that we are nourishing each other and making space to create and share and sustain.
So, yes, what we’re doing here IS important. It’s my promise that I will work to keep creating opportunities for artists to grow. It’s my promise to make space for artists to say what they need to say. It’s my promise to keep working to make speculative fiction a part of the larger literary conversation.
These things are important, because as Jonathan Larson wrote in his brilliant musical, “The opposite of war isn’t peace, it’s creation.” So I hope you will leave here today determined to make art…beautiful, challenging, complicated, visionary, brave art…and to share it with a world that needs it now, more than ever.
Join us at our next show, Saturday, March 18.