Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Arts Day at the Legislature

Monday was Arts Day at the West Virginia Legislature and the West Virginia Writers were there with a booth to promote the state's many writers. A call went out earlier last month for readers, so I volunteered to read some of my poetry, using my lunch hour to do so. The Capitol was an exciting place, with many exhibits and artists of all disciplines on hand.

It was hard sometimes to tell who was in costume and who was not:
Clowns, cops and Civil War soldiers mingled above the "well," the center of the second floor of the Capitol's Rotunda, as they all looked down below to where Horace Mann Junior High School performed:

The acoustics were unfortunate; little was discernible on the second floor, but when I went down to the first floor I could hear this amazing little group very well. They played flawlessly, a testament to their teacher and school--and parents who after all must support any child's efforts in the arts.

This is an important event for west Virginia arts, as the artists have an opportunity to showcase their work and meet with their legislators to promote the arts and ask for support. In hard economic times, the arts generally suffer first and deeply, and it takes time to build back again when times are better. The support of our lawmakers is critical. Creative experiences in music, writing, theater, dance, painting and all the other arts is essential to a healthy, well-rounded and educated society. Failure to recognize the value of these endeavors is to impoverish or minds and removes much of the beauty and joy from our lives. Imagine a day without music! Or a library with no fiction or poetry, a world with no paintings, sculpture or dance. What  a sad, dreary existence.

I had a little time to wander around, talk to people and take a few photos.

This little guy must have been tired and stopped to rest a bit:

And Robert C. Byrd was there, supporting the arts:

Then it was our turn, and I took the mic and read a few of my poems.

It was good to see some of my writer friends, if only for a little while. And it made me look forward even more to next year, when I should have more time and can stay for the day to help with the booth.


  1. A good way to support the arts in such a public place, as you say the world would be a very much poorer place without art, music and litereature and they are always among the first cuts when Government money is in short supply.

  2. Hear! Hear!
    Preservation of Imagination
    at all costs! :)



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