Why Art Matters: Because Arts Don’t Just “Happen”

by Judith Dupree September 29, 2015

Ruminate: to meditate or muse; ponder: to give serious and careful thought to

About five years ago I was invited to become a board member of Ruminate. It has been a life-changing experience for me. I want you to know that because all our lives need changing: occasionally an overhaul, and often―perhaps always, yes―a tweak or two. I speak from a long life of facing and learning and denying and accepting this bedrock Truth. And, sometimes—oh glory!—ultimately welcoming it.

What does this nitty-gritty have to do with celebrating and sharing arts? With beauty displayed beautifully? With laying before others fluid prototypes of their varied genres? Offering them contests as incentive and validation? Oh, and for our staff and board, how does a tweak or an overhaul, and that small circle sharing these wonders and wonderment, relate to the grittiest of nitties?

Because arts don't just "happen." Or appear on our inner radar and pour from us by magic. That's Oz.

Ruminate did not rise from the clay of life by magic. This beautiful and yes, in small ways unique little journal is often breathtaking, sometimes fulfilling, always challenging. It provides the developing reader-artist a forum to be heard, a wall to be displayed on. It offers the matured among us an invitation to become what they once thought they'd never be―that gentle goad we need, that invitation to hold on and reach out. That, of course, is the primal yearning we know well, each of us. It is both the drive unto drivenness and the ripening fruit of gritties that we didn't ask for, didn't want, and finally turned into manna for the hungry muse.

Kinship. This beautiful word is what Ruminate is particularly about. This is what matters to us, why we do what we do. We are listening to you, watching over you, praying for you. We want, more than ever, to be "here" for the artist of whatever "genus." And maybe genius?

We want to discover you and share you with others . . . and celebrate you. And of course, we want you to celebrate others with us! That's what kinfolk does, right? We will be developing new ways to do this.

And, yes, the basic, vital message is still the same, simply with a new twist. Despite all the sterling arts-gatherings and coveted scholarships and fine journals, etc., there are many who can't participate―who are far from our shores, or far from the fellowship of others. Who still need a "place" to be known, accepted, perhaps mentored, encouraged. And to do it for others. Not at a retreat or conference or workshop, be they many and fruitful. Right where you/they are, where the hard work of making art look simply magnificent mostly happens.

We are here, as a created entity, because we believe God called us together, to reach beyond our own reach and know you as you need to be known. And you need that kind of knowing and reaching, alongside us. We invite you to step forward . . . to join us―take part with us, become kinfolk with us―as we begin this new Journey into the year ahead. And to ruminate on all this.


Photo credit: Katie Jenkins


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Judith Dupree
Judith Dupree


Judith Deem Dupree's first nonfiction book, Sky Mesa Journal, was published by Wipf and Stock Publishers in 2016. She also has three prior volumes of poetry. Judith founded and directed (1996-2010) Ad Lib, a retreat and workshop for persons of faith engaging in creative arts. An establishing member of the San Diego Christian Writers Guild, she served on the board for many years, teaching locally and nationally. Judith also created and co-directed Mountain Empire Creative Arts Council in eastern San Diego County. Her current projects relate to completing work in fiction, music and drama, and always, poetry.

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