The annual greeting to the Friends of the Beach Museum of Art from that year’s President traditionally notes the excitement and resurgence of energy that fall brings to both town and gown in a university community. The community itself is renewed and charged with excitement and activity as students return to make their lives here in Manhattan.
Getting to know and work together with the lively, engaged, talented people who are the Friends of the Beach Museum Board has been a pleasure and an education to me in the last couple of years, and I encourage everyone who receives this letter to join in more active participation in the work of the Friends. This past year’s organization into subcommittees affords ample scope for many talents—hosting visitors at talks, openings, and performances, participating in educational initiatives and public outreach, engaging in research on how the public uses our galleries, and helping maintain The Meadow. Well-organized, enthusiastic people are always needed for carrying out these activities.
In this era of persistent emphasis on STEM disciplines, it is well to remember that more and more recent research is providing scientific evidence of the central importance and manifold implications of arts education and experience for human development. Matthew Arnold was not wrong to include among “the powers which go to the building up of human life” the power of beauty, which answers to a profound need in human nature. In the Beach Museum, we have a unique resource for the cultivation of that aesthetic–and I think I might say psychological– development. Your ideas, enthusiasm, engagement and support can help us to reach new audiences with all that the Beach Museum has to offer, enhancing its value to clients from the schoolchildren of USD 383 who participate in the now annual Early Expressions art show, to retirees who enjoy recharging their sensibilities at our shows, or on our sponsored trips to other museums and exhibits in the region.
Look forward to a new year of imaginative, intriguing, thought-provoking experiences with the arts, and keep October 7th on your calendar for our Art in Motion Festival. Quoting our former president, Sarah Hancock,
Invite a friend to join us! Like our college town on move-in day, the Friends experience a jolt of energy when new people arrive. New members keep our perspectives fresh and maintain our role as a strong financial contributor to the museum. Success builds on success. Look for people who feel the same spark you do, and help them grow and connect through the transformation art offers.
– Michael L. Donnelly, president