Today we got news that the amazing Rebecca Blunk will be stepping down as head of the New England Foundation for the Arts due to health and personal reasons. I entreat everyone to take a moment and just close your eyes and thank Rebecca in whatever form you express gratitude. She is a remarkable leader who has made so much possible for so many of us, with a quiet yet forceful style that we can all emulate.
I first met Rebecca in 1983 at the Practicing Cultural Democracy Conference held in Omaha, Nebraska. We were both young, both seeking, both full of passion about a vision that was beginning to take shape that each of us felt compelled to follow. It was a view that held that the power of art and art-making could be harnessed in so many ways. Yes to dance making! Yes to community dance making! Yes to unorthodox means of making and seeing art! Yes to old people dancing! Yes to changing the politics of the country and the politics of the art world… and so it went on… yes, yes, and yes.
That is the thing about Rebecca. She knows that risk lives in trying and experimenting, in doing and evaluating and then doing again. I know this on a personal level as she has been a truly valued friend and colleague who has expected the most from me And I know it on a physical level too as we made dances together just a few months ago. Yes to the body healing!