Stop asking that your wine be 'clean', and start demanding it be delicious.
My favorite way to kick off the holiday season is to attend Brown University’s Latin Carol Celebration, a sing-along performance of Christmas carols organized by the Classics Department. It’s difficult to top sitting in the stately old First Baptist Church on North Main Street, a winter twilight streaming through the windows, as the rich notes of the pipe organ blend with a multitude of voices belting out carols…in Latin. It’s pure magic, and this December was the poorer for its lack.
Another holiday favorite is the Providence Art Club’s annual Little Pictures Show, when the galleries are hung with works by many artists and of widely varied media and subjects. What they have in common? All works are 24″ x24″ or less, and all are available cash and carry, at very reasonable prices, providing a fairly easy opportunity to own and cherish an original work of art. Unlike the Latin Carol Service, the Little Picture Show has soldiered on this year, but when I stopped by in late November, the Art Club staffer said traffic-and sales-were off by about 50%.
Full disclosure: I raised a theatre kid, who spent half her life on stage and the other half dreaming about it. So perhaps I’m biased. But for me,performing arts truly pay homage to the season. Music, dance, and drama are cultural touchstones that bring us together, and this year, we’re really missing the’ together’ part of that. Recorded music and Netflix only carry us so far.
It’s far worse for arts organizations, particularly small local and regional companies, because their holiday shows are generally a huge share of their yearly revenue. The Nutcracker, A Christmas Carol, holiday concerts-nothing puts patrons in seats like a holiday classic. Better yet: a holiday classic with their children in it. Without that revenue, how will those organizations survive?
In many cases, their fate is squarely in your hands. So if you can safely attend an outdoor or virtual performance, please do. If you can make a donation, please do. If we want the organizations we miss to be here for us on the other side, we need to do what we can to help them now.