I was sad to learn the other day that Norman Scribner will be stepping down in 2012 as Artistic Director of The Choral Arts Society of Washington. After founding the organization 45 years ago, Norman has led it through many a financial crisis and cultural change, present circumstances included. Since being at the helm for so long, he has surely affected countless individuals in a positive way. I am one of those numerous examples.
After beginning my Master’s degree in Arts Management at American University this past fall, Choral Arts Society was my first internship where I worked as a development apprentice. As far as I’m concerned, it was not only my first internship in D.C., but also my introduction to arts management.
My sincere gratitude goes out not only to Norman Scribner, but to the Executive Director Debra Kraft for realizing the importance of arts education, both professionaly and elementary. Supporting arts education in words is one thing, putting money behind it is another. Norman and Debra have managed to do both, even in hard economic times. They not only provided a great work environment, but by arts internship standards, paid me a respectable wage and travel stipend. For a small organization employing around 10 full time employees, that is saying something. They could have easily cut this line item from their budget and not affected their artistic product one iota, but they didn’t.
As a more public thank you to Norman, Debra, and to Choral Arts for their efforts and consistency in supporting arts education, I will highlight their efforts in an upcoming blog I am writting for the Americans for the Arts ARTSblog as part of their Arts Education Blog Salon, September 13-17th. This salon will honor National Arts in Education Week, and organizations like Choral Arts that take the importance of arts education seriously.
Thank you, Norman, for all that you have done to establish a solid foundation from which Choral Arts can continue to be a great place to work, a great asset to the D.C. community and an important cultural institution.