by Dawn Goodman Washington, Development and Communications Director, Arts on the Block
“Truth is; everybody is going to hurt you. You just gotta find the ones worth suffering for.” — Bob Marley
Shortly after joining Arts on the Block (AOB), I had the opportunity to assist in interviewing Pour Your ART Out (PYAO) summer apprentices. To say I was blown away by those encounters is an understatement. Not only were these kids poised, professional, and incredibly smart, they actually knew who they were as artists! That’s who they understood themselves to be. That’s how they moved through this world. And, that’s the one thing I heard — over and over again – that they wanted from their experience with AOB: to be seen by the world not as mere kids or as students, but as artists.
In an instant, I had found my professional calling with this organization…
I could help these emerging artists reach their goal. By being my most excellent in administration, communications and fundraising, I could help these amazing young men and women take their place in the world and contribute fully to the artistic conversation. Whether they became a professional artist, an artistic professional of some other discipline, or just made art to relax, they could fully realize their vision of the future.
And, I could help them do that.
Working with teens (even smart, talented ones) is never easy. Neither is working with sometimes skeptical, often overburdened funders or community stakeholders. Building any real relationship takes time and hard work. But, AOB artists – and, the communities enriched by their artwork – are worth it.
They are so worth it.
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!