I am back from my grand sabbatical adventure, thanks to the wonderful generosity of the Durfee Foundation. I traveled to Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and smaller villages of Vietnam; the temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia; and visited temples, volcanoes, shadow puppet makers and weavers in Bali. I explored the lush, verdant state of Vermont on a 10-day road trip. I return “rested and rejuvenated”, a main goal of the Durfee sabbatical program.
I give great thanks to the wonderful board and staff of artworxLA for keeping all things running smoothly while I was away. Shelby Williams-Gonzalez did an outstanding job stepping up to the role of Executive Director, Robin Sukhadia excelled in his fund raising and communications duties, the board provided great support and leadership led by our new board chair Sophia Waugh, and the entire staff ran the program in a stellar fashion.
While traveling, I visited and was inspired by great works of art from the sculptures at Storm King Art Center, the masterpieces of contemporary art at Dia: Beacon and MASS MOCA, the self-described “cheap art” at Bread & Puppet Theater, the stone carvings of Angkor Wat and the daily offerings in Bali. I am reminded of the powerful role that artists play in our culture, the need for creativity to be the driving force in any innovative endeavor, and the importance of providing equal access to creativity for all of our young people. While in Vietnam, I picked up a book by the Zen master and global spiritual leader Thich Nhat Hanh. He says “community building is the most important action of our century” and that “art is the essence of life, the substance of art is mindfulness.” His words resonate as I return to artworxLA.
I look forward to reconnecting!
Cynthia Campoy Brophy
artworxLA Executive Director