“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” —Dr Seuss
Newtown may remember this line from Seussical: The Musical presented by the 12.14 Foundation last August at Newtown High School. It seems the foundation has taken this bit of Loraxian advice to heart, because the group is enlisting people who care a whole awful lot to join their quest to create something that is destined to help Newtown get a lot better: a performing arts center located in town for children not just from Newtown, but from across the state, region, and beyond.
The 12.14 Foundation was founded last year by Dr Michael Baroody “to remember, to honor, and to inspire through the healing arts.” (See story on page A-11) The foundation’s production of Seussical: The Musical was a rousing demonstration of what can happen when someone asks for help and a lot of talented and inspired people say “Yes!” Since then, Dr Baroody and the foundation have kept the momentum going, drawing the interest and assistance of an enthusiastic and talented core of noted theater and communications experts who believe a performing arts center in Newtown is not just another nice idea, but something well worth the commitment and hard work required to make it a reality.
There are many believers in the power of music and theater to transform the lives of artists and audiences alike — especially young lives. One celebrated young artist, country music singer-songwriter Scotty McCreery, has been inspired to sign on to the mission of the 12.14 Foundation. He has agreed to serve as the foundation’s national goodwill ambassador, which means he will be spreading the word wherever he goes to whomever will listen — and he has much of America listening to him right now. “As a songwriter and performer,” he said, “I know that music can bring hope and inspiration to those struggling to overcome great adversity.” It is a message the 12.14 Foundation hopes will make a Newtown performing arts center a nexus for performance and healing, not just for our community, but for everyone who comes to be associated with it.
As the foundation branches out, its organizers are ever more mindful of its roots. Its success will draw heavily on the nourishment it gets from the Newtown community, which has shown strength and determination beyond measure — the kind of resolve that will carry this plan across years of planning and development to ultimate fruition. In short, it will take a town who cares a whole awful lot. If you would like to get involved, visit www.1214foundation.org.