“You can’t be what you can’t see.” – Marian Wright Edelman

Class was on stage. The routine pre-matinee warm-up that was as calming & mystical as all of the others… a solo piano’s melody guiding mindless steps, evaporating gently into an empty audience. I saw a man seated beside a young girl in the orchestra, a slightly compromised view from stage left. Assuming it was the family of a dancer, I didn’t think much of it until class finished up and something compelled me to go down and introduce myself.

To my humbling discovery, this man was not a dancer relative…but rather, the “spotlight technician” who had brought his daughter to see a bit of backstage magic before the show. This man was literally in charge of spotlighting performers, and had spent the past decade hidden in the highest realms of the Opera House, directing theater-going eyes to follow the stars with the light that beams brightest.

…Last night, I sat amongst a glorious galaxy of stars at the 2nd annual benefit for the Find Your Light Foundation — A magical evening celebrating philanthropic efforts for arts education with mind-blowing songs and mind-shifting speeches. As Broadway stars, world-renowned musicians & fearless artists shared the stage before me, I couldn’t help but think back on that man & his spotlight. I thought about how seemingly selective light can be, highlighting talents of some while simultaneously casting shadows over others. I spent the night thinking about the power of light, and the resources we have to help people find, spread & share it… namely of course, through art in its many magical forms.

At any given moment in this sleepless city, there are dreamers & doers navigating their way around streets & stages…molding & making & finding their light. At the same time, there are countless numbers of children desperately in need of guidance & exposure to such opportunities.

Children that dream of doing

Perhaps my most fulfilling efforts this past year have grown from a vested interest & exposure in non-profit arts organizations, and the tireless work they are doing to bring the power of arts & arts education to children in NYC and beyond. Generous efforts by organizations like  Culture for One, Marquis Studios, Americans for the Arts & Find Your Light are changing lives, one “a-ha!” moment at a time…diffusing selective beams of spotlight to the far corners of life’s stages. Changing lives & making this world a better, brighter place with each passing day.

Having spent a decade of my life dancing around the world’s stages, I have found that there is nothing more meaningful than finding opportunities to share the light that finds us — a realization (overwhelmingly) shared by the many artists in that room last night.

So, I woke up this morning wishing to extend a lingering bow and an endless applause to the brilliant, generous talents behind Find Your Light, and the many other organizations working hard to keep the Arts alive.

Get Involved/Donate today. One dollar, One dance, One dream at a time.

Let’s mold hearts & make art.

s.e.