We began the year by sharing how orchestra performers and choir singers pivoted in the early days of the pandemic to keep the arts alive. We end 2021 by shining a light on a special teacher: a fiddler who helps school kids quickly make beautiful music.
For the past year, Ruralite has brought uplifting stories to help preserve the arts during a time of jeopardy. Our Heart of the Community series—with support from the Murdock Charitable Trust—shared stories and podcasts about musicians, poets, dancers and painters creating, teaching and inspiring. Some were professionals and some were neighbors looking for a creative outlet.
The arts touch every corner of our daily lives: from the cellphone that connects us with our families to the entertainment we watch on TV to the pictures with which we decorate our homes and offices. Yet art programs are struggling. Underfunded, many schools offer fewer options and programs are shrinking. My hope is our coverage inspires you to participate in or support the arts in some way.
Our final story in the arts series begins on page 12. Kelly Thibodeaux magically teaches elementary students how to play a song on the fiddle in less than a week. His unique rhythmic method brings smiles and confidence, and shows the arts are accessible to everyone.
In 2022, we will turn our series spotlight to education. We want to tell stories about how education efforts—traditional and nontraditional—have flourished, despite the challenges of the past few years.
We can use your help. If you know of an educational program or education heroes who have risen to the challenge, let us know by following this link and filling in the quick story tip form: https://tinyurl.com/PUReducation.