Friday, December 29, 2017

Seeds of A Better Future

Someone told me it’s all happening at the park.
I do believe it,
I do believe it’s true...

(with apologies to Paul Simon)

I received a letter from Nina Basu of the Inner Arbor Trust reminding me of everything that’s happened at Merriweather Park in Symphony Woods this year. It’s an impressive list for Year One. 

This is what the folks at the Inner Arbor Trust have given to the community in 2017:

  • Hosted the Columbia Orchestra for a free, family-friendly pops concert;
  • Partnered with Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks to host a four concert series in the Park;
  • Hosted Vaught Contemporary Ballet for a free ballet performance based on the book Dune;
  • Hosted Stary Olsa for a free performance of medieval Belarussian music;
  • Partnered with community groups to host the three night free Heritage Film Festival screening movies in different languages (with English subtitles) to celebrate this community’s incredible diversity;
  • Partnered with American Institute of Architects for a “behind the scenes” tour with the designers of the Chrysalis;
  • Asked “what’s your art?” and invite children to Imagine their Stage and create model stages both at the Chrysalis and as a part of the popular Big Build event at the National Building Museum;
  • Displayed ten Adirondack chairs painted by local artists during the Celebrate the Arts in the Park installation;
  • Held weekend morning free music and movement events for children on the Chrysalis stage;
  • Held Imagination Playground play sessions in the Park, inviting children to dream and build alongside the imaginative structure created for the Park;
  • Partnered with the Downtown Columbia Partnership and the Howard County Library to host a free book festival, which drew authors including Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie;
  • Hosted community arts groups such as Columbia Big Band at the Chrysalis; and
  • Brought over 500 people together in the pouring rain to celebrate the opening of the Chrysalis!

    This is the time of year when many non-profits are clamoring for your year-end donation. It is easy to become overwhelmed with the number of appeals that arrive in the mail or fill one’s inbox. There are charitable institutions that provide food or healthcare. There are political causes that promote and defend a healthy democracy. And there are those nonprofits like the Inner Arbor Trust that support the arts, community involvement, and quality of life experiences. 
    We all make our own choices of how to divvy up the limited funds we have to disburse. A  million impassioned emails can’t decide what is right for you. But if you are able to devote some of your money to the Inner Arbor Trust this year, you’ll be investing in a positive and vibrant future for our community. Even if your donation is small, it’s a vote of confidence for a park that’s for everyone.

    It’s a bitter cold day and we’re in the darkest season of the year. This is when gardeners pore over seed catalogues, planning their upcoming season. So plant some hope for the Spring. Help make something grow.
    Learn more about the Trust here.

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