Lynn Lovegreen
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2016: A good year for the arts

2016: A good year for the arts

On New Year’s Eve, my husband and I usually celebrate in downtown Anchorage. We go to the Anchorage Museum, have dinner at Sacks, watch fireworks, see the gingerbread village in the Captain Cook hotel, and spend the night at the Copper Whale B & B. And we talk about the year past and our plans for the next. It’s a great way to celebrate together.

Going to the museum is an important element of our day. The museum, and arts in general, is a big part of my life. Art and literature give me solace, entertainment, and thoughtful ways to understand people. Because of the latter, I’d like to declare 2016 the year for the arts.

With war, terrorism, political strife, and all the other challenges we face, one would think that understanding our fellow humans is vital. As Harper Lee had Atticus say in To Kill a Mockingbird, “First of all…if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

Art and literature give us an opportunity to see things from other points of view. A recent study shows that reading fiction improves our ability to empathize (http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/2015/may/13/reading-teach-children-empathy). That should help us come together to find collaborative solutions to the many problems that we’ll face in 2016.

I encourage you to enjoy the arts this year. Read a novel, go to a museum or gallery, watch a dance performance or a play, or go to a concert, as often as you can. Also, tell your representatives to support art in schools and public places, and donate to a museum or arts group yourself if you can. Let’s spread art this year, and make the world a better place.

Inspired by Frank Soos’ blog post for 49 Writers-see it at http://49writers.blogspot.com/2015/12/frank-soos-now-what-bonus-blog-by.html

I love to share my passion for Alaska and its history in my writing for young adults and their grown ups.

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