One of the best Christmases I can remember celebrating with my friends happened over twenty years ago. We were all young and economically challenged -- Coles, Cathy, Natalie, Margaret, and I -- but we loved each other dearly and wanted to give one another the world. So we decided to stuff each others' stockings with wishes for the things we most wanted our friends to have. Once we let go of the obligation to give one another material things, we were free to give them any wish we chose. Vacations, book deals, confidence, sleep. It was liberating and it made us seriously consider how we might improve the lives of the people we loved if money and time and power and even magic were at our disposal.
In this same vein, Jasper asked Columbia artists and arts lovers what they would like Santa to bring to their beloved arts Community this Christmas. Answers are still coming in, but here's a start on what folks had to say.
Please feel free to comment on these wishes below, and do add some wishes of your own.
In the meantime, Merry Christmas from your friends at
Jasper - The Word on Columbia Arts.
From Tom Poland
I’d like for Santa to bring the arts community a big bag of confidence, commitment, and energy. Being an artist often means working in isolation wondering if your work is good or wondering if it makes a meaningful contribution to society. Being sure of your work and
yourself generates the strength to keep plugging away at your chosen craft. When you believe in and commit to your art it does make a meaningful contribution. The journey is a long one, a marathon, and rewards go to the patient and persistent.
From Alexis Doktor
I feel that most often the problems that I'd love to see fixed don't lie within the arts community, but those that hold the strings. I wish Santa could bring a new found respect and intrigue to those that don't currently appreciate the arts. That maybe people would see the beauty in our movements, our music, our work, our soul, instead of which gamecock has the most field goals or who just got benched. The artists I've met in Columbia, whether performers or fine artists, all share something: passion. And it seems that every year funding gets smaller, and concerns are turned elsewhere. The artists here live out their resolutions every day... do what you love, and do it often. Personally, I'd love to see the Main Street first Thursday arts fair grow and grow. It's such a wonderful forum for artists of all kinds. I'd like to see more funding given to the companies that work SO hard on SO little (i.e. Workshop Theatre, Columbia City Ballet, Trustus, SC Shakespeare Company, and the list goes on). I'd like to see a new governor who understands and appreciates that taking away arts and good education from our children hurts everyone, because they are the future!
From Natalie Brown
I would love to see an arts incubator space open up, and/or live/work artist spaces in the downtown area. Bonus points if the ceilings are high enough for a circus arts school.
From Chris Bickel
I'd love to see Santa bring us more alternative spaces for display of works. I'd like to see more businesses open up their walls to local artists. We're seeing more of this lately in Columbia, and it's a trend I'd like to see continue. It's an aesthetic improvement to the business and good exposure for the artist.
From Chris Powell
I'd like Santa to bring us all some unification, concrete goals both as a community (and as individuals), continuing inspiration gleaned from our daily lives, and the energy and eagerness to help our fellow artist in THEIR work as well as the open mind to accept their criticisms.
From Alex Smith
Integrity. Honesty. A ten ton sack full of hundred dollar bills.
From Elena Martinez-Vidal
Funding and audiences!
Merry Christmas from Jasper!