“‘Do you know, I always thought unicorns were fabulous monsters, too? I never saw one alive before!’ ‘Well, now that we have seen each other,’ said the unicorn, ‘if you’ll believe in me, I’ll believe in you.'” –Lewis Carroll; Through the Looking Glass
I was at my usual Southland Arts (a community arts alliance) meeting a while ago and after business was completed, we were chatting about the usual things. I mentioned I often feel like a unicorn, but I don’t feel that way with them. What I meant to say is that it is nice not to have to explain or justify why I have certain views. Perhaps I don’t feel like an exotic creature when I am with a group of other exotic creatures. With other creative types I can be myself. I am sure many of you feel the same way.
I have noticed I am more creative with other creative people. Our creativity feeds off each other and we are more creative. That’s one of the reasons I attend ACDA or other choral and music conferences as often as I can, to get my creative juices flowing. But with Southland Arts, comprised of many other artists in different disciplines, I think I can be even more creative closer to home.
We are involved together, this group of fellow artists, putting together an alliance in our community for the good of the whole community. Our personal agendas are put to the side while we are together so our communal agenda can be brought to the front. And what is that communal agenda? To support the arts in our community and to attempt to make a positive difference in our area’s economic climate and more, I believe.
We have been meeting regularly since about June of 2014, with check-in meetings often virtual during COVID. Our meetings and agendas have evolved into something uniquely *us*, unicorn-like if you will. The business community is often represented and, in fact, was first to realize the need for this alliance. The art genres run from visual artists, sculpture parks and galleries to art academic types to community performing organizations (jazz, choral and theater), a youth symphony as well as our local professional symphony. Two performing arts centers, one municipally based, and one university based, are also involved. It’s been wonderful to be around so many wonderful, creative people with the shared goal of culturally enriching our community.
During the past few years, we’ve come to realize we have much in common, no matter our art genre, and want to support each other. I’ve had other alliance members hire my chamber choir (to begin with, as a favor I believe) for events or come to one of our concerts and be amazed at how good we are. And the same goes for me; I attend things I’ve not attended before and are delighted with what is available in our own community.
A group of unicorns is called a Blessing and I know I am blessed to be involved with this wonderful group of fellow unicorns!