Growing up in rural Michigan, my family didn’t have much in terms of financial wealth, but we did have a mother who believed in exposing us to the arts from an early age.
We lived in the village of Holly (as of the 2010 census, the population was 6,086) and had access to passionate school teachers and instructors who shared their chosen crafts – from local theater and visual arts to dance classes and choirs. Our home was just an hour or so drive from Ann Arbor and Detroit and about 20 minutes from Flint, all of which have vibrant arts communities and often offer free or low cost admittance to performances of the highest caliber.
Thanks to Mom, I quickly learned to cherish the arts and respect the relationship between performers and us patrons. Even if we were seated in, say, the balcony of the Fox Theatre, invisible to anyone on stage, it was still a shared experience and incredibly special.
Jim Haynes, who is one of the arts patrons we featured in this issue – including on the cover with brothers Jeremy and Tristan Hanson of the Louisville Ballet – knows that experience firsthand. Prior to his involvement with the company, Jim had only attended a lone, locally-produced ballet production where the youngsters danced to recorded music and audience members had to stifle back yawns.
But then he joined the Louisville Ballet board in 2017 and hasn’t missed a production, provided he’s in town. “The addition of the Louisville Orchestra and the internationally-exceptional choreography have kept me riveted to performances,” Jim recently shared with me. “I challenge all who have not seen a performance to subscribe. One performance and you will be a fan.”
In this issue, you will find representation of artists from every genre and a number of supporters, too, as well as a selection of restaurants that value how art can enhance a meal. I hope you enjoy The Arts Issue, an annual tradition all of us at The Voice are always eager to share.
Editor in Chief