the reason artists need to gather
Lovely to meet you and absolutely a privilege to read with you!
I was recently at a Chicago Library Foundation event that recognized writers and artists here in Chicago, and although it was not a "conference" with that free-flow of artist ideas and energy, it still fed my soul. I must admit, most conferences now to me, (either through my own changes or the conferences' changes) don't have the same wonderful familial energy anymore, the way you felt it in Youngstown. That's tremendous. Happy to experienced that and to know that same energy still exists. Where I find it these days is in the classes I teach — eager, artistic minds searching for their voices and their stories. That really puts purpose into my work and of course, more importantly, theirs.
In the midst of artistic community, feelings of purpose and well-being flourish. When I was running marathons, I found the same kind of joie de vivre. Affiliation has a strong pull. Thanks for this post, Jen.