From the Executive Director

Dear CultureSource Members, 

Since the ball dropped in Times Square on January 1, friends and colleagues have been sharing with me their themes for 2019—for them, an annual theme is a flexible substitution for rigid New Year's resolutions.

The theme I would propose for CultureSource in 2019: See and Be Seen.

This theme emerged for me across two trips in the last four weeks to New York City, as acclaimed artists across disciplines conveyed common, provocative messages.

Subtly and overtly, the Broadway shows To Kill a Mockingbird and Dear Evan Hansen rejected concepts of people being invisible. Sarah Lucas's New Museum show challenged visitors to see beyond masks of gender norms, while stereotypical masks of Black identity were challenged in the Brooklyn Museum's Soul of a Nation exhibition. And The Jungle, a fictionalized refugee camp drama at St. Ann's Warehouse, physically placed the audience in the center of the action and prevented immigrants on the edge of Calais, France, from being unseen.

"See and be seen," is my attempt at synthesizing and articulating these expressions of ideals and creativity. As a theme, it encapsulates my hope that in Southeast Michigan, we can all shift perspectives in connecting with our neighbors (and patrons) and that we can use our work to elevate them as well. 

As CultureSource turns this theme into action in 2019, our emerging news media partnerships will help your events be seen by more audiences and our adaptive leadership programs will help you be seen as a model and leader in organizational and community development. We will also create opportunities for you to see and uplift your fellow alliance members, and we will encourage you to seek artistic and intellectual discourse about our field at conferences, exhibitions, and performances.

In Aaron Sorkin's staged To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout said, "The things you can't see are scarier than the things you can." As you move through January, I hope you enjoy pondering that statement and how you and your organization might see and be seen.

Cheers!
Omari