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Earlier this year, I wrote my first art blog here at the Red Rock News. I stressed the importance of the arts in education, society and life in general. I asked you as individuals to keep art alive and well. I begged you to consider the art we take for granted in our everyday lives. I asked you to look at your walls, community and even your technology to see how it is a part of everything we know and love. I stressed the value of arts education in all its various forms in our public schools and reminded you that our children were the key to the future. I was desperate, sometimes hopelessly demanding justice as I watch our art programs beings stripped and defunded during these current economic upheavals.


But I am still always hopeful.


My hope today lies in all of you. I see that the arts are alive and well in the hearts of so many of you. I see people taking action and leading the way in an amazing world of creative thought and design. I believe that artists will always find new and imaginative ways to express themselves. This is clear in current and past events throughout history. We can now witness comic fans dedicating outstanding works to an entire exhibit honoring Conan O’Brien. Muralists like Ellen Griesedieck are creating national collaborative projects to voice their own views regarding the significance of arts in education. And of course we have all seen and heard of activist “guerilla” artists such as Banksy, making statements and even forcing their art upon us at the same time.


I see the arts alive and well in each and every one of us.


To make matters even better - all this week and next week I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by children immersed in art. It's that time of year when Sedona Arts Center hosts a summer art camp with Art for Kids. I am lucky enough to hear the laughter of children each morning as they start their day off with morning yoga and move on to their creative art projects. I get to witness the transformation of white panels into brilliant colors as the children work happily on the mural that will be on display all year round at the center. These programs rely on our support and participation to continue in the years to come.


And I will always be hopeful.


There’s no denying that the arts will always need loud voices to rise up against the challenges of budget cuts and ill-advised thought. There are still too many people that can’t seem to justify the arts over what they consider more logical programs to support. All I know is that art has always been important to me in my life and the lives of everyone I’ve ever met. I’ll always be able to recognize where the creative streak ran rampant to guide my friends and family down the paths they follow today. I can see art everywhere, on every street, in every home and even on everyone.


I see the arts alive and well within you, and for that - I am grateful.


Remember: grow; learn; conserve; preserve; create; question; educate; change; and free your mind.

About: Kelli Klymenko is an artist, a faculty member and the Marketing & Events Coordinator at Sedona Arts Center: a gathering place where artists can learn, teach, and exhibit their works at the center’s School of the Arts and Fine Art Gallery in uptown Sedona.

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About our Blogger


"Kelli Klymenko is an artist, storyteller, photographer, teacher, yogi, husband, father, science aficionado, marketing director for Sedona Arts Center and free thinker - experiencing life in one of the most inspiring and picturesque places on earth with his fabulous wife and children. “Remember: grow; learn; conserve; preserve; create; question; educate; change; and free your mind.” –"


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