In a world filled with good causes, humanitarian needs, and worthy institutions, deciding on supporting one agency or cause over the other or one in addition to others can be a difficult decision. When asked to write why my husband Mike and I chose to support the Newberry Opera House, it has caused me to reflect about that financial commitment. My first inclination is the response that it is the right thing to do for our community…for our county….and for the arts; but that, as I reflect upon it, is really not the heart of the matter. Certainly there are the key rationales which are more tangible and measurable such as the Newberry Opera House being an economic engine for growth, its cultural and educational value, its preservation and on-going use of a beautiful old Victorian building, and its impact on the sustained revitalization of Newberry. Yet, there is the intangible basis for donating to the Newberry Opera House that falls into the category in which numbers cannot be applied or measured with pie charts or graphs. It is that realm beyond assessment that is neatly fit into budgets and operating expenses.
Beginning a teaching career in the arts back in the early 1970’s, I happened upon a quote from the distinguished educator Alvin C. Eurich. The quote resonated with me so profoundly that I copied it in calligraphy and framed it to hang in my classroom. That framed quotation remained a reminder to me throughout my time in the classroom that there was an even higher calling than test scores and mastered skills. Today that small, yet faded, sentiment resides in my office at home and is as treasured as it was all those years ago. The quote reads, “We cannot tolerate another generation that knows so much about preserving life and destroying life, but so little about enhancing it.” That, to me, is the pinnacle—the premiere reason for contributing to the continued success and growth of the Newberry Opera House.
The arts connect us across time and space in a way that lifts our spirits, entertains us, inspires us, renews us, educates us, and, I think, blesses us. The arts bring us together across continents and cultural divides. How fortunate we are that the world comes to Newberry through the Newberry Opera House. How fortunate we are that we have a facility that makes that possible and leadership that has and continues to be in the forefront of entertainment industry. The Newberry Opera House indeed ENHANCES LIFE. It provides cultural and entertainment opportunities in a wonderful intimate setting. I am grateful to Jim Wiseman and all those who had the foresight to make the Newberry Opera House their mission. They, and all the other supporters, have brought us to this
point, but the reality is that the work of promoting the arts is never finished. It does take financial commitment to continue the legacy begun here.
Making a contribution to the Newberry Opera House, no matter how much that donation might be, is deeply appreciated. Each donation counts toward operational expenses and towards providing that quality of life enhancement brought through the arts. It would be wonderful for the Newberry Opera House to have an endowment so large that its existence would be propelled into perpetuity. New programs are being introduced, new ideas for growth are being discussed, and exciting time lie ahead for the Newberry Opera House. It takes money, however, and it takes people who value the arts and the venue. I encourage you to give to such a worthy cause. I encourage you to support the arts AND THE VENUE—OUR NEWBERRY OPERA HOUSE.