We’ve come to the end my friends.  The end of the 2014 Fund for the Arts Campaign and the end of my time as President & CEO.  That’s right, I’ve had the time of my life, and what a time it has been!  I owe it all to you!  Before we get to my final video blog, I want to share with you my weekly dose of ArtSpiration.  It’s the email I received below…

Dear Barbara,

When I recently received a letter thanking me for my contribution to the Fund for the Arts, I appreciated the gesture. Then I saw the question “What’s your Arts story?” and it made me think about what my story was and felt compelled to try and express it to you today.

The truth is, I can’t recall when my Arts story began, only that it has been as constant and present in my life as the air I breathe. I am fortunate enough to have a family, teachers, and friends that have always nurtured and encouraged a love for the arts throughout the years. 

· A sister who was my co-creator in turning our Barbie dolls into ‘CATS’ so that we could reenact the first off Broadway show I ever saw
· A Spanish teacher who played Tito Puente to start class off
· A middle school English teacher who took a writer’s club and encouraged them to write and perform a play about mental illness
· A mother and one of her close friends that taught me the art of basket weaving one summer

From learning tap and ballet as a kid, to attending my 1st symphony, to Falling Waters and the Art Institute of Chicago, to the 1st time I used a jigsaw, welded metal, carved leather, molded pottery, developed my own photos in a dark room…. There is so much more that make the arts personal to me.

I am blessed to live in a community that supports the arts and have enjoyed reaping the rewards of that in many ways, but, most notably with the Off Broadway Series, Actor’s and Shakespeare in the Park.

With a song in my heart and the tap of my feet, THANK YOU for all the gifts you made to this community!

– Morgan

Thank you Morgan for sharing your ArtStory with us, and thank YOU for making this a great American city!  One more thing, check out my last video blog below.


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Barbara Sexton Smith
President & CEO
Fund for the Arts

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