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Give Thanks, Immerse Yourself in the Arts

Give Thanks, Immerse Yourself in the Arts

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, this time of year conjures up childhood memories of family traditions. I remember seeing issues of the The Saturday Evening Post spread across my Grandma and Grandpa Holt’s house; the magazines were a constant presence, laying on the coffee table – dog-eared and well-worn. We often talked about Norman Rockwell’s paintings which adorned the covers. Of course, images of family and Thanksgiving were among some of our favorite themed paintings. And, today it’s a fitting time to contemplate Rockwell’s series on freedoms: Freedom to Worship, Freedom from Fear, Freedom of Speech, and Freedom from Want.

At the Ohio Arts Council, we too are a family, and we too have many thanks to give. We’re thankful for the people we serve – and for the creative opportunities the artists and arts organizations across Ohio provide to children, families, and the entire citizenry of our great state. Arts and cultural funding through the Ohio Arts Council can be found in every county in Ohio – yes, all 88 counties! We’re thankful for the resources provided by Governor Kasich and the Ohio Legislature, as well as federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts – all in service to supporting quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically.

As you summon your own memories of the holiday season, I hope you find yourself immersed in the stories, the traditions, the art … all of which leads you to remember the many freedoms Rockwell depicted and that we cherish today. As for me, my family will be visiting the Springfield Museum of Art to see the exhibition, Norman Rockwell: The Man Behind the Canvas (on display through December 31). I’ll be looking for some special paintings so that I can share stories with my grandgirl and grandboy. Maybe we’ll start with The Great Debate (The Saturday Evening Post, October 30, 1948) or Saying Grace (the Post, November 24, 1951) – the opportunities are endless with the arts!

Until next time,

Donna Collins Signature

Donna S. Collins
Executive Director

Image Credit: Norman Rockwell, Freedom from Want, 1943,

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