I think I expected that people (as they are apt to do) would tell us we were wrong to close. They would suggest 50 other ideas that likely we had tried or dismissed because we have all the information needed to make a decision and others don’t. I expected people would try to shame us for “letting down the community.” And I expected the doom-and-gloom-ers, saying “well there goes the Arts District.”
Guess what? I’m full of shit.
Do you know what happened 98% of the time? People were kind. People were understanding. People (especially artists) supported our decision. Some people prefaced their commentary with gratitude, “Thanks for all you’ve done.” People were sad, and so are we… but they did seem to understand.
And the few who jumped my ass about closing were people who didn’t really understand my business, or me, or the business of art in general. In other words… people who are uninformed. A few people made comments on social media about “there goes the arts district” and before I could respond, others in our community jumped in to explain how vital the Arts Community in Canton is. All our dear friends at Avenue Arts Marketplace & Theatre (which some of us in deep love will always call “you know, the old Second April”) were quick to step in to remind the nay-sayers that their beautiful and grand art and theatre space is alive, well and busy reinventing itself. Others reminded the public (thank you Canton Repository, its editorial staff and Dan Kane) that “A degree of turnover in any downtown is to be expected, and we anticipate that it won’t be long before another artist comes along to fill the void.” *
I’m really exhausted right now. We had a more than busy week. But emotionally, I’m calm, supported and even smiling and this is all because humanity surprised me in a lovely way this week. And for this, I am so very grateful.
As always, I send light and love to you and yours.
May we always try to find a way to be kind and compassionate.