Kids Still Inspire This ‘Old Guy’

by I.J. Hudson, Executive Vice President of the Board, Arts on the Block

I came in through the side door at Arts on the Block.  A friend already on the board suggested I consider joining because I was essentially retired and needed to fill some “golden years” with some quality time. I went through the obligatory lunch with Jan and June at the Daily Dish and decided to join.

The Board accepted me because of my potential, but I really didn’t accept what Arts on the Block was about until —- I drank the Kool-Aid of kids taking on responsibility and working together to create great art.  It was no longer about me; it was about them.  I was retired, and they were coming up.  I could help.

I carry pictures of their artwork on my phone, which I bring out in a heartbeat when someone asks me what I’m doing these days. I carry stories with me of “this old guy taking pictures of these young people being creative.”

I pass along tips to the young artists on communicating with people, really listening, believing in yourself and selling yourself.

In short, the young people of Arts on the Block become confident in themselves and their friends. In this nonprofit, not everyone’s design is chosen, but everyone wins —- working together.


Throughout spring, Arts on the Block will highlight the people, places and programs we love. Our goal is to #AOBHitRefresh on all of the relationships that make up our creative community. It’s spring, what better time to reconnect? Tell us your #AOBHitRefresh story!

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