Q & A with Julia Garber of the Community Foundation of Wabash County

  • What made you decide to partner with Hoosier Shakes?

In 2013, the Community Foundation of Wabash County refocused our grantmaking on urgent human need and support for enrichment activities that serve under-resourced citizens of the county.  We didn’t want to stop funding the arts in order to fund human need. Art is a human need! But often the cost of participating in the arts is too costly for some families. We wanted to make the arts an essential part of everyone’s life and to find ways to help everyone access the arts.  The model of Hoosier Shakes was a good fit for us. The company provides access to performances without charge and makes the sometimes difficult content of Shakespeare accessible to the modern ear.

  • What does partnering with Hoosier Shakes mean to you?

Hoosier Shakes is evidence that our small rural community is full of quality activities and learning. Community Foundations exist to support local and regional efforts and meet the needs of our citizens. We could never do this work ourselves, nor would we want to. We use the generous resources of our donors to partner with organizations and initiatives in the community that are bringing us a high quality of life.  Hoosier Shakes is one of our essential arts partners.

  • What do you hope to see from us this season?

We are eager to see Shakespeare’s As You Like It and Othello this summer at the Wabash ArtsFest in Charley Creek Gardens. [dates?] We also hope to see nice-sized audiences this summer. People who think Shakespeare is for snobs will find that he wrote for everyone.  He speaks to all our human emotions and even our social and political questions of the day. The genius of Shakespeare is his appeal to our need to laugh and cry and rage. Those messages come through clearly, even in Elizabethan English.

  • In what ways can our audience interact with your company/business/organization?

We appreciate any way that Hoosier Shakes can link the Community Foundation with Hoosier Shake’s own mission to enrich the region’s quality of place. How many small communities like ours have a Shakespeare company? It’s a wonderful asset for us.  I remember that the company did a little street theater at a First Friday event a few years ago to advertise Hoosier Shakes’ performances at the Charley Creek Arts Festival. Don’t hesitate to insert the name of the Community Foundation in any future promotional spectacles!  And we always appreciate signage at the performances themselves, as well as mention in a program, if you have one.

  • What is your favorite Shakespeare show? Why?

I love As You Like It.  I love the way a Shakespeare comedy takes chaotic situations and relationships and resolves the story in the end. I once used some lines from this play in a wedding that I officiated (You and you and heart in heart; You and you no cross can part.)  because marriage and relationships are like that, aren’t they? They can be chaotic at times, but eventually become strong and clear. More often than not, comedy is our experience of life. Few of us are tragic figures. Most of us are naturally born comedians! We live in in need of reconciliation and we find it when we love and respect each other.

By: Julie Garber, Program Director

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