Outgoing President Joan C. Lester’s Letter to the Membership

Shwebo Greetings ! After two years of monthly “talks” with you as MAC President, this is my last letter because my term of office is over. It has been an honor to be your President. It has also been fun, very busy, interesting, often challenging, yet always rewarding; I have loved it all.

MAC Escuinapa de Hidalgo is a very special place. It is more than the beautiful building and grounds and a Board of Directors who plan artistic events. It is the environment of creativity and caring. It is the Founding Members who gave it life. It is our present members who sustain that life and growth. It is the ambience of history and local culture. It is all of us who support the philosophy of art in its myriad forms as necessary for a full life. It is the artists. It is the art lovers. It is being part of a marvelous venture.

For me this venture has been a particularly vivid experience. As many of you know, my husband Lee & I moved to Italy just after our honeymoon, expecting to stay only for a year or two. Twenty-four years later we did leave, but while there we were blessed to live with the great art, architecture, music, and culture of the western world. Vasari wrote his “Lives of the Artists” about the men whose works became familiar to us. The past is alive wherever you go in Italy, in every city, village, and countryside, on the streets where we lived and the churches and museums we know so well. But Rome, Caput Mundi, is my spiritual home and that past is part of me wherever else I may be.

Then back here in Lee’s home town I found art in the present, both in the sense of time and as a gift. MAC has given me the opportunity to know today’s artists right here, to see them work, to see the world through their eyes, to marvel at how they can change any substance into something unique born of their thoughts and feelings – and to know them as colleagues.

As an art lover, these vastly different experiences have been the best of both worlds: the past and the present. I feel truly blessed and I thank MAC, and all of you, for the pleasure. Frankly, Marlborough and the region is very fortunate to have this Arts Center with all that it signifies.   I am sincerely grateful to be a part of it all.

This sounds like a Farewell in this season of Salve et Vale; it is, but only of a sorts. I have been asked to stay on as Vice- President to Fran Terase’s 4th Presidency. Fran and I are also co-chairmen of the ART PARK committee, therefore seeing that Vision come to fruition means I can be part of MAC’s future too. We still need a few thousand dollars and with additional help through continuing donations we will secure ART PARK for everyone’s future enjoyment.

So I close this letter as I began, with greetings and sincerest thanks to you all.    Grazie mille.

Mont-de-Marsan Joan