In this week’s Roundtable, I’ll be talking again with both Sandra Glahn, fiction writer, teacher and speaker, and Calvin Edwards, an executive who works with philanthropists to “maximize the good of giving.”
LeAnne: Sandra, let’s start with you. Why do you love the arts? Have you always loved them?
Sandra: Since I can remember I have loved the arts, and I hate that so many of today's fine arts--opera, symphony, museums--are inaccessible to those in lower economic groups.
I grew up in Oregon's lush Willamette valley in a modest home that sat on five acres. The two living room windows looked out on Mt. Hood in one direction and the Willamette River in the other. We sang on car trips, and Mom read us great stories. I remember my dad singing me to sleep at bedtime playing the autoharp. Going to the library was a weekly event in the summer.
Then when I was ten, Dad volunteered for a transfer to Washington, D.C., because he wanted to expose his five kids to culture. So for the next seven years we went to free Juilliard String Quartet concerts and National Geographic lectures and Smithsonian tours. My favorite attractions were Jefferson's Monticello (so much creativity!) and the Bureau of Printing and Engraving, where we watched money being made.
By the time I hit ninth grade, I'd had a year of piano and seven years of viola. Every kid in my family played an instrument, and we'd attend each other's endless concerts and we'd also have hootenannies with other families. (As grown ups, we turned out to be a musician, a curator, two teachers and a writer.) We didn't think of ourselves as creative types. We just loved music and history and problem-solving, and we played outside instead of watching a lot of TV (though we complained bitterly at the time). And we watched our mom sketch during afternoons on camping trips. The arts were not a separate category in our lives. They were interwoven into everything we did. They were just "normal."
On Thursday, we’ll hear from arts enthusiast Calvin Edwards about how and when he came to love the arts.
Coming soon: an actor and a photographer