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We're leaving the light on for you | Guest View


Last updated 4/16/2020 at 5:57pm

Tara Brown Photography

Joe McIalwain

In a recent letter to patrons, Edmonds Center for the Arts Executive Director Joe Mclalwain shared a message of hope and inspiration amid the global COVID-19 crisis.

Recognizing the challenges facing all nonprofit organizations and local businesses in our region at this time, Mclalwain reminds us of the power of the arts, even during hardship.

Here at Edmonds Center for the Arts, we believe in the transformative power of the arts. The arts are at the heart of our community, they make space for connection through shared experiences, and remind us of the power of humanity even during hardship.

For nearly 15 years, it's been my privilege to lead this organization alongside a team of creative and hardworking individuals. Over the years, we've faced our fair share of challenges as so many small businesses and nonprofits have. But together, we've weathered every storm ECA has faced with hope, confidence, and a focus on the future.

In this moment of global crisis, I continue to be inspired by the ECA team and our loyal patrons. Now more than ever we remain committed to our mission: to strengthen and inspire our community through the presentation of world-class performing artists. Though physically separated, our team is hard at work rescheduling upcoming performances and preparing for our 2020-2021 season. We can't wait for you to see what we have in store.

The truth is, it's been a long month. It's devastating to not be able to walk through our building each day, thinking of all the incredible moments that aren't happening on stage or behind the scenes. ECA exists to convene – to bring artists and audiences together. And right now, it's hard not to be able to do what we're designed to.

Like you, I've experienced the magic of going to ECA more times than I can count, witnessing performances by remarkable artists like Buddy Guy, Clint Black, Manhattan Transfer, the Mavericks, and Pink Martini.

I remember so many amazing moments, like when Jake Shimabukuro played "Ave Maria" on his ukulele at the edge of the stage, unplugged, as an encore to his incredible first concert at ECA. Every day I'm reminded of the value of an art-filled life, and ECA's role as a champion for the arts in our beloved city and region.

Today and every day, the health and safety of our community, staff, volunteers, and artists is our highest priority. You are a part of our family. We care about you, we're thinking of you, and we miss you. We truly can't wait to throw open the doors to our theater and be with you again.

In the meantime, we hope you and your loved ones are staying home and staying safe.

We encourage you to keep engaging with art that lifts your spirits and nurtures your soul. We will continue to help connect you to virtual performances and digital experiences by artists who have graced our stage and artists we hope to present in the future.

Please stay tuned, stay in touch, and stay connected!

We also encourage you, if you are able, to support the health-care workers in our community, nonprofit organizations that serve the needs of our neighbors who are suffering, and small businesses who rely on all of us for their livelihoods.

ECA gladly welcomes your support (https://bit.ly/3biumXQ) as we work to bring our organization back to life, and back into your life as soon as we possibly can.

For now, I'll leave you with this. In the theater, light is perhaps one of our strongest symbols. In fact, after every performance at the end of every night, a single lamp is illuminated at the center of the stage before the crew goes home.

The practical purpose of the light is simple – it is for safety and security when all the theater lights go down. But we see it as something more now. We are leaving the light on for all of you.

We will keep it burning until the time we can welcome our artists, and all of you, back to our shared home for concerts, connection, celebration, and community.

Please remain safe and healthy,

P.S. Need some "quarantunes" to brighten your day? Check out our Spotify playlist and join me in listening to some of the amazing artists from this past season! (https://spoti.fi/2z8sTFz.)


Reader Comments(1)

Lindsay Geyer writes:

Thanks for embodying the Edmonds community spirit. We look forward to returning to ECA in what we hope is the near future!


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