Today we use a song by Paul Simon as our text. If you don’t know “Wristband” go ahead and watch/listen. We’ll wait for you to come back. (If you want, skip ahead to 18 seconds in.) But pay particular attention to the “message” verse about 2/3 of the way through.
The riots started slowly with the homeless and the lowly
Then they spread into the heartland towns that never get a wristband
Kids that can’t afford the cool brand whose anger is a short-hand
For you’ll never get a wristband and if you don’t have a wristband then you can’t get through the door
I don’t think I need to add too much to this. For much of the population of the U.S., the nonprofit arts industry is at the epicenter of a world of wristbands. To them, if any of us don’t have a wristband for access to whatever it is we want, we know where and how to get one . . . easily. You may disagree. But it’s the image many people conjure up when they think of the work we present, when they think of it at all, and relatively speaking they are not wrong.
No wonder it can be difficult to gain their attention, much less their trust. But gain it we must. For the sake of our industry’s future and, I think we would all argue, for the well-being of our communities.