As a theater wife, it should be no surprise that I am a huge supporter of the arts. As a teacher, it should be even less of a surprise that I am a huge supporter of the arts. I have seen the power of the arts over and over and over again in my life and in the lives of others around me.
For a long time when Chris and I were first married, I never knew what to tell people my husband did as a job. I couldn’t really say he was in theater because people automatically assume that he is an actor. And I couldn’t really say he was an engineer because he didn’t build buildings. Finally, what I ended up saying every time was, “He takes an artist’s picture and makes it come to life.” What a gift that is to those who watch those shows!
In my own classroom, I have seen autistic kids who can’t express themselves any other way draw incredible pictures. I’ve seen students with ADHD who put headphones on and immediately soothe themselves with music. I’ve seen children who are quiet and shy in the classroom bloom on stage with an instrument, microphone, or prop in their hands. The magic of the arts and the contribution it makes to our culture and society is unmatched.
Which is probably why I am so proud to have friends that are artists. It takes such special people to make art happen for those around them. My friend Brett Haley is one of those people.
Brett writes beautiful stories about real people and real life. But more than simply being a storyteller, Brett is a filmmaker. For as long as I have known him, he has been making movies. First, simple short films shot on his own handheld camera in Chris’s driveway. Later, at the North Carolina School of the Arts, the films became longer, more artistic, and more fine-tuned. As his career in film has progressed, so, too, have his movies. Now, he has film crews and craft service tables and film festivals and lunches with producers at restaurants with linen napkins. His latest film stars the beautiful Blythe Danner and the talented Martin Starr, for crying out loud!
Brett has grown up a lot in the 16 years that I have been his friend. But it is his storytelling that has grown the most, and it has been my privilege to watch that transformation.
Currently, Brett and his team are in pre-production for his latest film, “I’ll See You in My Dreams,” which tells the story of Carol (Blythe Danner), a widow in her 70s, who is struggling to find purpose and make sense of her increasingly isolated life in the “twilight” years. The heartwarmingly humorous script finds Carol forming new relationships and, through them, confronting her fears about love, family, aging, and death as she is forced to adopt a new outlook while coming to terms with this new phase of her life.
Brett’s team needs to raise $60,000 for production costs in order to begin filming in March, and that’s where you and I come in. Please visit Brett’s Kickstarter website and donate. Donate anything.
Every little bit helps, and every little bit supports not just Brett but all filmmakers, musicians, sculptors, painters, actors, directors, producers, production managers, dancers, writers, non-profit theaters, small budget independent filmmakers… all those people who work to express our culture through the arts.
Our world has such fascinating stories to tell. Let’s support the artists who are brave enough to tell them.