Spreading the Word

Jan Wright, Publisher, art & society

At a recent Women in Business Summit I attended at the Caterpillar Visitors Center, participants were asked about the opportunities one might pursue, both inside and outside their vocation, to network and connect with others.We discussed how important it is to participate in community organizations, to pursue your passions and practice your talents—as a stress reliever, a source of enjoyment and delight, and a chance to “pay it forward.”

I thought about this discussion as I read the articles in this issue. There is a common thread here—of artists and entrepreneurs who have turned their personal passions into works of art, businesses or educational tools— sometimes all of the above. Work does not always feel like work when it’s a passion.

Designer and entrepreneur Abby Gettys took her passion for art and created Collecture—an innovative brand that turns original, local artwork into fabric for furniture, bedding, pillows and more. It’s an easy way to bring unique art into your home, while supporting the livelihood of artists in our own community. Her accompanying promotional campaign, “I Buy Art,” is an extension of that vision. “The best way to support the arts is to buy art,” it declares, with an added call to action: “Spread the word!”

With her giant “reef” project, artist Jessica McGhee transformed plastic waste into an impassioned educational statement on a growing global problem. Local poet Ahavah Mauré started her own talk show to spotlight “artists, entrepreneurs and game-changers” whose voices often go unheard. Chef Golda Ewalt shares her life’s passion for seasonal produce and healthy, tasty recipes.

As executive director of the Orpheum Theatre in Galesburg, Kevin Maynard is most passionate about the 102-year-old building and all of its historic trappings—as well as the varied activities that take place on its stage. His dedicated staff and faithful volunteers feel the same way in caring for this magnificent structure, marching in line with the same goal, the same passion.

It’s been a long, cold winter… but spring is finally upon us! So get out and pursue your passion, whether cooking or gardening, art or history, sports or fashion… whatever it may be. Invite a friend on the journey with you. Support the arts. Spread the word! a&s

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