The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County was established in 1949, the first local arts council in the country. The National Council on the Arts was established by law in the mid-60s, and by the mid-80s nearly state and every county had its own arts council. During the 80s I was living in Middlesex County, New Jersey, where the Executive Director of our arts council was a tiny dynamo of energy.
She told me, "I believe that we are all creative, and that we all need to express it. I don't care if it's a man coming home for working in a factory and going out to work in his garden, that's creativity. And that's my job. To see that every person in this county has an outlet for that drive. Because when it's repressed . . ."
The details that we retain in memory, and those we lose are a mystery. I don't remember her name, what town we were in, what conference we were attending. I do remember we were walking on a glass-enclosed bridge between buildings, because I can still see the tree-tops behind her. And I'll never forget her passion.
To be continued