|| Wicked Local Hingham
|| November 6, 2011
|| Glenn Mangurian
You may remember in the early 1980s WBZ-TV sponsored a public service campaign called “You Gotta Have Arts.” As part of the campaign, the station’s then new arts and entertainment reporter, Joyce Kulhawik, hosted the Emmy Award-winning “You Gotta Have Arts!” magazine program. In a recent conversation Joyce told me, “One of my earliest memories as a five year old was singing and dancing in my back yard. I did the whole thing because the arts, for me, really spoke the truth. It’s who I am.”
Like Joyce, I was first exposed to the arts as a child. But unlike Joyce, I can’t sing, dance, play a musical instrument or draw a straight line. Despite being artistically challenged, I really admire those with artistic talent.
My wife and I are loyal subscribers to the Boston Ballet, one of the premier ballet companies in the country. There are millions of young children who take ballet lessons but less than 200 American born dancers who perform with prominent companies. There are probably ten times more professional football players than professional ballet dancers.
Boston is home to many elite athletes such as Tom Brady and Kevin Garnett. Well, attend a ballet performance and you will see a stage full of elite athletes. Like Brady and Garnett, brother and sister, Lia and Jeffry Cirio, are “all stars” with the Boston Ballet. As children Lia and Jeffrey dreamed of performing in front of cheering spectators. They dedicated tens of thousands of hours of practice to their passion and their parents made critical sacrifices to support their dreams. Today, they are living the dream but unlike Brady and Garnett, they make a small fraction of the income.
The arts are a vital part of our society. We are fortunate in Hingham to be surrounded by opportunities for children and adults to enjoy the arts. Consider the following: South Shore Conservatory, Derby Summer Arts, Kids Cabaret, Company Theater, South Shore Music Circus and the Hingham High Drama Club. Add to that list all the opportunities in Boston with the BSO, Pops and MFA. And don’t forget Tanglewood and Jacob’s Pillow in Western Massachusetts. Let’s celebrate that we live in a cultural center that’s the foundation of the Massachusetts’ “creative economy.” Few states are as rich in world-class arts institutions as Massachusetts. But, none of these organizations could exist without our financial support and patronage.
Some say that educating our children in the arts is not practical given today’s economic realities. Children should be prepared for “real jobs”. Well, I’ve spent more than 35 years in business, and some of the most creative and successful business people I’ve known had a foundation in one or more of the arts. Who knows, maybe the next Mark Wahlberg, Lady Gaga or Lia Cirio is your neighbor. So, let me add my voice (as off key as it may be) to the chorus that sings, “You Gotta Have Arts.”
By the way, tonight Lia and Jeffrey will be dancing in the Boston Ballet’s performance of Romeo and Juliet. For the price of a Patriot game ticket, you can take the entire family. Better still, for the price of parking the family can attend the next Hingham Drama Club production.