|Flourish Online Magazine||Spring 2012|
A note from the anonymous donors
The cast and crew of The Onyx Theater naming celebration
Photo by Tracie L. Hinnant
The future direction of the United States is being hotly debated, but one thing most people seem to agree on is that the education of our citizens is a critical challenge to our continued success as a contributing member of the world community. As donors we certainly agree. But more than a few influential voices in this debate argue that we must cut back on investments in the liberal arts. We couldn’t disagree more. It is our belief that the arts are not only an important part of the foundation of a robust culture, it is the arts that offer the critical ingredients of creativity and collaboration to any successful enterprise.
As we reflect on our lives it is clear that our achievements are not ours alone. We had much help along the way. We are now in a position to be able to help others, and are pleased to be able to do so. There is no doubt that to have a successful career in theater is very, very difficult. It is the rare person in the world of the theater who doesn’t have a second or third job in order to pay the bills while he or she pursues life in the theater. To that end, it is our wish to help the faculty and staff in the Department of Theatre, Performance Studies and Dance deliver the best possible educational opportunity to their students so that upon graduation they might be in the best possible position to have a successful career in the theater. It must also be said that all any of us can do is offer a helping hand. Ultimately it is the responsibility of each student to fully take advantage of the opportunities that are offered.
As we have attended events sponsored by the Department of Theatre, Performance Studies and Dance we have been impressed with the high quality of the performances. It is indeed a pleasure to name The Onyx Theater and to endow a fund for projects in the Department. We are confident that the funds will be put to good use by the faculty to enrich the educational experience of their students.
We hope that you like the name of the theater. We asked the faculty to recommend possible names and why these names would be appropriate. Among their recommendations was The Onyx Theater, because “The theater is a black box space. This name dignifies the space by associating its blackness with a gemstone, a transformation into that which is precious.” So it is a space for transforming students into actors whose talents shine like a gemstone. We look forward to faculty and students using Creativity, Collaboration and Commitment to produce transformative experiences in this space.
We would also like to take a moment to say a word to other potential donors. While one can certainly take pleasure from the purchase of a new car or the latest electronic gadget, endowing The Onyx Theater brings long-lasting joy. The studies that have been done about the joy of giving to others are right. It is a most positive experience. We encourage you to make a contribution to support the theatre, dance, music, or visual arts programs at KSU, or to whatever foundation or charity you find to be worthy of your support.