My World of Religion, Politics, Entertainment and Social Issues

If you are visiting my blog, expecting to see 'Toward a Progressive Catholic Church,' I have changed my title to reflect my wide assortment of interests. Having retired from my secular job, I hope to devote the rest of my life to my hobbies, ministries and perhaps a part-time job that makes good use of my communications skills. This blog will be designed to address my multi-faceted interests.

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Location: Rochester, New York, United States

I have an M.A. in Theology and an M.Div (Master of Divinity) from St. Bernard's School of Theology and Ministry. I am currently a media consultant and promoter of classical music. I am also certified as an officiant by the Federation of Christian Ministries for baptisms, weddings and funerals and minister independently of the Rochester Diocese. My life has encompassed many interesting paths: broadcasting, free-lance writing, video-production, music, ministry and a secular job in government. In addition to this blog, I have a YouTube site at www.youtube.com/priestray and I have a Facebook page.

Friday, December 18, 2015

The Challenge of Remaining Vibrant in the Arts Community

Dear Blog Visitors:

Since word got out that my 2-year term as president of the Rochester Chamber Orchestra came to an end, I have been gratified and honored by offers I have received from various arts organizations to join their boards. As much as I appreciate these offers, I am looking forward to some fun and relaxation, at least for a few months.
I am very pleased that the Rochester Chamber Orchestra will continue under a new board. It has been part of the Rochester community for 52 years, and despite the challenges arts organizations face today, this is a first-class professional orchestra deserving of a new life.
These are indeed challenging times for arts organizations, not only in the Rochester community, but throughout the country as well. With government subsidies and private grants shrinking, new ways must be found to sustain various non-profit organizations that provide audiences with classical music, dance, opera, staged plays, contemporary genres, etc.
I can attest to the fact that it is difficult for an individual arts organization to survive in today's economy. The past two years have amounted to a full-time job without pay, as I attempted to keep one organization alive. It may become necessary in the not-to-distant future for all local arts entities to seek a strategy such as merging under a large umbrella organization, whereby resources can be pooled accordingly.
Classical music remains as an important part of my fabric. I cherish memories of playing instruments and singing in high school, my two years at the Eastman School of Music, playing as principal trumpet with the Brighton Symphony Orchestra, singing with the Greece Choral Society, etc., and my latest two-year venture as president and treasurer of the Rochester Chamber Orchestra. My hope is that the arts will continue to thrive in the Rochester community and beyond, despite the challenges.