Director's Corner

Rick Davis, Dean and Executive Director.

Sine qua non

The literal translation of that morsel of Latin is “without which not.” An inelegant phrase at best, gibberish at worst. But the real meaning is beautiful: something essential, something necessary, something without which something else would not exist.

I bring it to the Director’s Corner this November because it has your name on it. Yes, you, dear reader. You are the sine qua non of the Hylton Center, the essential, necessary thing without which we would not exist. 

Do you know how much we missed you these last 18 months? Yes, it was grand to connect over the ether through Hylton at Home programs and other channels – and yes, we will keep exploring how best to use those tools to bring the arts and education to ever-wider audiences. We learned a lot and found some things to carry forward. 

But to the folks who make the music, dance the dances, tread the boards and tell the stories, sell the tickets, do the stagecraft, raise the money, teach the classes, and keep the lights on, it’s the sense of connection, the energy circulating from stage to audience and back again, that is the essential condition of our work. You can feel it in the air, see it even through the ever-present masks (amazing how expressive our eyebrows are getting!), sense it in the spontaneous eruptions of joy in the Didlake Grand Foyer as friends see each other again for the first time in a long time. And it may be my imagination, but I think ovations are louder and longer than they’ve ever been, whether after a great solo in a jazz concert or at the end of a show. 

That exchange of energy is the sine qua non of the performing arts. We’re so glad it’s back—and that you are back to play your part. We couldn’t do it without you!

Rick Davis
Dean and Executive Director