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2023 Arts Outlook: Abigail Lind

Executive Director, Springfield Ballet Inc.

Posted online

Lind’s 2023 projection
We’re starting to get our momentum back from COVID. You’re going to see collaborations among arts organizations continue to unfurl.

How are the arts doing these days, post-pandemic?
People are starting to become comfortable with being a little more public again. We’ve been missing out on our traditions, and we need to make sure that they keep happening for us. If there is anything good to be said about the time we spent going through 2020 and 2021 as a community, it’s that we were able to get back to our roots on what art meant to us, what creativity meant to us, how we want to spend our time, how we want to make our lives more beautiful. I love that people were picking up paintbrushes, figuring out gardening – there’s so much going on, and such a positive light can come out of all of us.

What about ballet in particular?
Dance has been progressively becoming more and more of a conversation topic, naturally, in the past decade with shows like “Dancing with the Stars” and “So You Think You Can Dance.” People are starting to realize how accessible dance can be. Through the power of social media, they’re able to share new tricks, new progress, and they’re also able to learn immediately. That has expedited creation and the learning process quite a ways.

What’s your assessment of Springfield as an arts town?
Artwise, the talent here has been generational and beyond. John Goodman, Brad Pitt – there are all sorts of performance artists who are just powerhouses. The number of performance artists that came from here and went on to do important things would not only double but likely triple the athletes. Springfield is very fortunate in the fact that we’re a collaborative arts town. We have been producing an insane amount of art for a long time, and most of it is probably missed.

What do our arts organizations need in order to thrive?
We’re trying to figure out how we can continue to house the arts in The Creamery. It is bursting at the seams. We’re having hard conversations among all of the arts organizations, not just stopping at the board level. Either The Creamery has to have a whole other layer added – or does it look like a new location? We’re asking for support from our people – not just for hands and donations, but for their genuine and candid opinions.

What about performance spaces?
We don’t have enough theater spaces in Springfield, and we haven’t in over 10 years. We’ve been losing theater space, but we’ve had packed seasons – the symphony, the opera, Springfield Little Theatre, Springfield Contemporary Theatre, us. If we’re going to keep providing premier education, we need different types of performance space. We’re probably going to continue to be short unless we do something. The arts are definitely growing; we just need to get more creative.

Do Springfield businesses do a good job of supporting the arts?
I would say we are very grateful for the support we have. There are certain business leaders who get it – they understand they would not be who they are without the arts. For those people, I say thank you so much.

If you’re curious or hesitant, reach out and let’s talk about it. It all boils down to education. If people aren’t finding they should give, the arts probably aren’t helping them yet, and we need to figure out why.

How do you get new audience members to want to try the ballet?
Take a deep breath. There’s a story. Just experience what’s happening. The storyline, which is actually quite simple, will probably appear to you without thinking. Just let go, watch and see what happens.


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