We’re in a tough time right now.  Everything is doom and gloom – oh, the stock market, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, $700 billion bailout, gas, mortgages, job cuts…the list goes on.  Even our weekly staff meeting, which typically brings a light to my day since it’s a great way to hear about what’s going on in the company, turned into a rant about the economy.  Ugh.

So I started thinking about how to cheer things up.  Typically, when things go bad, people turn to cultural outlets to distract them or express their frustration with life.  The best way to avoid constantly hearing about bad news is to escape into movies, magazines, books, museums, etc.  (For a visual explanation, just check out Woody Allen’s “Purple Rose of Cairo” – it’s a great example!)

I was raised on all things cultural.  I was in more museums, parks, libraries, concert halls, and theaters than playgrounds growing up.  I loved NPR, the New Yorker, NY Times, Vogue, and Shakespeare by age 8, when most other kids my age were rocking out to NKOTB and reading Sweet Valley High and couldn’t understand my odd preference for collegiate literature.  HOWEVER, it all paid off.  (Mom and Dad, guess what – I can finally thank you instead of agreeing with Cordie’s complaints about being dragged to all those “pretty places!”)  I have an intense love and appreciation for the arts and I love fueling that adoration with exposure to all things new and different.

Now, it’s time to share that love.  And it’s time to help you, my readers, and the community as a whole, take a breather from the sad nightly news and find something to smile about.  Every Tuesday, I will share some cultural bits in a regular post I will call “Culturally Speaking.”  I will post links to new, fun, and interesting cultural things that I’ve discovered over the week.  Hopefully, in sharing this, my love for the arts will be contagious and we can all “find a little happiness.”

So tune in every Tuesday when I share some little snippets of cultural joy and pleasure.  Send me suggestions of things you’ve seen that you want to share, or feedback if you read any articles or attend any events that I’ve shared.  Bonus – I’ll try to keep an eye out for affordable deals, too.  That way, you don’t have to worry about financial woes blocking your chance to have a little fun.

Here we go!

CULTURALLY SPEAKING, for September 23, 2008:

I’d love to hear your thoughts!