My how-I-came-to-be-a-working-artist-in-Newfoundland-and-Labrador story is an actual fairytale, a Thing that Does Not Happen, an unbelievable example of being in exactly the right position at exactly the right time. For now this is the important bit: #ArtsNL was there, contributing to the World’s End Theatre Festival through what was then the Professional Festivals Program.
I wasn’t going to stay in the province. I didn’t have roots here and in my early 20s I wasn’t ready to grow them.
But I did. Because ArtsNL continued to be there, funding the companies that employed me. They helped me grow as a producer, a director, an actor, and a storyteller. They funded me directly, too, so I was able to grow as a playwright. Despite the stagnation in ArtsNL funding, arts organizations are still rallying, making the most with what they can get, leveraging workable budgets out of minuscule grants. In the past 12 months alone, I have benefited from ArtsNL’s funding to Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland, Theatre Newfoundland Labrador (Sustaining Program), PerSIStence Theatre, St. John’s Storytelling Festival, New Curtain Theatre Company, Women’s Work Festival (Annual Operating), Shakespeare by the Sea, Association for the Arts in Mount Pearl (Community Arts Program), and two projects – one theatre and one literary – at the very beginning of their development (Professional Project Grants).
Today my life here would be impossible without the funds that ArtsNL distributes. And here I am, with my roots down, knowing beyond a doubt that without renewed and redoubled investment in ArtsNL, the nourishment I need to live and thrive in this province will dry up, and I will have to go elsewhere, or wither.