I have always been fascinated by the creative process, the way a thing of beauty — be it a novel, a dance, a piece of music, an art installation, a work of theater, a plate of food — comes into being, the tools that are used, the ideas that undergird it.

Which means that I am equally interested in the makers of these things, in what makes them unique as well as what makes them ordinary. The saying, “All politics is local” applies equally to the arts. Artists are, in most ways, just like you and me. They just happen to see parts of this world in different ways, and have the desire to share what they see with others.

And that is why I do what I do — to attempt to give some of the dreamers in our community a somewhat louder voice. The way a community treats the arts is the way that community treats new ideas — of any sort.

Yes, there is art created simply to amuse and entertain, and there is no shame in either making or enjoy it.

But there is also art that is created — no matter how beautiful its surface — to challenge, to disturb, to provoke. It is art that makes you look at something you might have thought familiar or dismissible in a new and different way, a way that opens the heart and the mind, that makes a connection, that leads to understanding.

That’s what I look for. Those are the stories I would like you to hear. That’s why I do what I do.