Director's Corner

Rick Davis, Merchant hall
Rick Davis, Dean and Executive Director.

Falling in…

Line? Love? Step? A pile of freshly raked leaves? Or just falling in general… Whatever way you’re falling, Fall is a season that invites a change of perspective. Even though most of us, nowadays, no longer work on the farm (though all of us, I hope, are grateful for the folks who keep us fed), the agrarian cycle of seasonal variation is still deeply imprinted.

The end of “meteorological summer” was August 31, so by that calendar it’s Fall already. And Fall is harvest time, back to school time, back to the theaters and concert halls and other places of organized assembly where communities are formed and sustained. It’s the time of getting reorganized, making plans, setting goals.

Maybe it’s because I work in the arts and the academy, which have their own version of the agrarian cycle of seasons (and are influenced by them), but I make more and better lists of “resolutions” at this time of year than I do on New Year’s Day – and I tend to stick with them better, too. I think that’s because my “New Fall’s Resolutions” usually involve participation, community, events, institutions, and projects – things that involve bringing people together, in the spirit of the season.  And so there’s a measure of accountability and motivation in that, more than in the sometimes-(often?)-unattainable personal development targets that I set on January 1. I know, I need to learn to set better targets…

But the larger point is this: Fall is when thoughts turn back to getting together. I’ve long observed (with the help of anthropologists and poets) that, in the latitudes we live in, the approach of winter is a strong subconscious force, a constant presence reminding us to bring in the firewood, caulk the windows, mend the mittens. And to make sure that we have a community to gather with when it starts getting dark early and stays cold all day and night. 

That’s happening right now, even though it’s a long way away. I find that rhythm comforting and deeply evocative of the wisdom of the universe; we’re getting the hint right now of what we need to start preparing for.

And because we (speaking for artists very broadly) have had centuries of practice, we’re ready. Our theaters are bright and warm (or cool, as the need requires). Our season is teed up with an irresistible collection of artists and events, inviting you to join or rejoin our – your – community in celebration of the joys of Falling In.

See you soon!

Rick Davis
Dean and Executive Director