A Letter From Our Artistic Director Rachel Cook and Artist Timothy White Eagle Mar 13, 2020

Our March 19-22 performances of Timothy White Eagle’s The Violet Symphony have been postponed.

Liveness offers this amazing opportunity to be in the present. It refuels us to remain in the present. I am struck by how this fact is impacting the work we are doing now and will do in the future. We have been working with Timothy White Eagle for over two years now, as an Artist-in-Residence, and currently as an artist in our 2019-2020 Season. This work started, for me, over a breakfast meeting with Timothy White Eagle in December 2017, when we first spoke about his initial idea, which was very different at the time. Watching the evolution of this creative process has been one of the most adventurous and alive projects that I have been a part and I’m deeply thankful for that.

I have watched this artist grow and change his vision, work through an intense personal emotional journey, apply for numerous grants to help support this project, find an amazing group of collaborators, and create a beautiful vision for The Violet Symphony. Changing how we would connect this work with an audience* was not an easy decision, and one not made lightly—we are very much in uncharted waters—but postponing our performances next weekend best serves the safety and well-being of our staff, patrons, artists, and community of arts lovers.

In talking with Whitey about the show and his ideas around artists, I love this statement he wrote,

“I consider the role of the artist to be that of the agent of change. Around the world there are stories of tricksters, mythic creatures who break the rules or containment of society, and by so doing bring into the world something new. This is the role of the artist to vision outside of our current containment and look for visions of something new, and to manifest those visions into the world, artists have an ability to point a way for cultures to move towards new things. The act of creation is the act of the trickster. My personal world has been dramatically impacted by AIDS, a majority of queer elder urban artists and thinkers are missing, and those of young or lucky enough to have dodged the bullet of the plague years are left mostly without elders.”

This makes me think of the time we are currently in, and the community we are building with each artist, through being able to bring their world view to you.

Lastly, I’ve been re-reading things I wrote and resolutions I made in years past. These few stuck out to me as a guide as we wander through these waters together:

  • Remember there will always be things that you can’t control, lean into the chaos and find the balance
  • Stay present in the moment, remember to look around, breath in the air, touch nature, and enjoy others around you
  • Reach out to friends & family when you are thinking about them
  • Find the balance between work, home, and self-care

With love and support,

Rachel Cook
Artistic Director