Thanks and Thankfulness

The holidays have officially begun. This time of year can be extremely joyful, but also extremely chaotic. Hopefully your personal brand of chaos includes plenty of cheer and laughter paired with moments of peace and reflection.  Hopefully at some point today, we may all push pause on the chaos if only for a moment as we contemplate all the people and things we have to be thankful for.

There’s something so powerful around the concept that today, amid the chaos of travel and planning and cooking and hosting, there is an overwhelming desire to invest in feelings of gratitude and express thankfulness.

We at the Center have many things to be grateful for as we envelop ourselves in this collective state of thanks.

We’re grateful for the artists who bring so much of themselves to our stages, and by extension, to our community. They open our minds, break our hearts, heal our hurts and expand our joys.

We’re thankful for the audiences who battle LA traffic, absorb UCLA parking fees to get to us. We thank each one of you who has attended a performance this season. Each person who witnesses art in the making, brings a unique energy and sensibility to the entire process. And each one of us walks away from a performance imbued and entrusted with the sensation that we now are the caretakers of that fleeting moment on the stage. We are the permanent gallery and we collect within us all the artists and ideas that reach into our hearts and change us, sometimes by small measures and sometimes radically and immediately and indefinitely.

We’re especially grateful for those of you who have participated in several special moments of connection so far this season. Our deep thanks go out to the members of CAP UCLA who support our mission on an ongoing basis, for everyone who contributed to our commitment to theater productions by attending our Old Woman fundraiser earlier this month, for everyone who joined us for the pre-and post-show party for our presentation of Exposed: Songs for Unseen Warhol Films. We’ll not soon forget all your beautiful faces, which you shared so generously as part of our live screen tests.

Thank you to the members of the L.A. dance community who helped us welcome Batsheva Dance Company to Los Angeles and celebrate its staggering 50 years as an artistic institution.

We’re grateful to the staunch supporters of our Design for Sharing program which brings thousands of elementary-school kids to the UCLA campus every season. There’s nothing like witnessing a thousand 5th graders in Royce Hall, which happened recently for the incredible On Ensemble. Whenever children fill the hall this place becomes a writhing organism of excitement and energy that fuels both us and the artists.

Thank you to artists, audiences, kids, teachers, parents. Thank you to anyone who makes art, to everyone who advocates for art and artists.

Thank you for taking a pause to read this message.

Wishing you blessings today and every day and hope we will see you soon.