Guest editorial: Performer says Park City Institute needs community’s support
My name is Lucia Micarelli, and I’m a concert violinist. I have had the great privilege of performing in Park City four times in the last few years, thanks to Teri Orr, the executive director of the Park City Institute. Back in 2015, she invited me to headline a show at the Eccles Center, an opportunity that completely changed my career, and my life. I had often dreamed of creating my own show, something that took all the disparate elements of my career and musical education (Juilliard; touring with Josh Groban, Chris Botti, Jethro Tull and Barbra Streisand; acting on the HBO series “Treme”; recording film and television scores) and combining them into a deeply personal journey through classical, Americana, folk, jazz and contemporary music. Teri, with her vision and foresight, came into my life like an angel, not only offering me my first solo show but believing in my ability and imagination in a way no one had before. And after playing that show at the Eccles Center, I was invited to play more solo shows at venues across the country, then asked to record a live PBS Special, then, this past fall, embarked on a full-on North American tour. Without Teri — without that one person who saw a spark and encouraged it — none of this would have ever happened.
I believe that the arts work this way. A spark becomes a flame, that flame becomes a fire, and that fire then warms a whole community. Every time I’ve been to Park City I’ve been blown away by the people — how curious and intelligent and open-minded they are, how this mixture of small-town and cosmopolitan come together to form a community that is vibrant and cultured, independent thinking, and strong in their values. I think that the arts play a vital role in this. It has been well-documented that exposure to the arts improves individual well-being, brings communities together, improves academic performance in children, strengthens the economy, inspires creativity and innovation, and has great positive social impact. The influence of the arts and humanities on Park City is evident in its residents, and should be celebrated and held up as a bar for other cities to match. And the Park City Institute, with Teri Orr at the helm, has played a huge part in bringing dance, theater, music, visual art and important conversations about social and cultural issues to your beautiful community for over 20 years.
The Park City Institute is now in a financial crisis, and it needs your help. What do you envision for your city, for your children? Can you be the spark that helps to create the fire that will keep your community — and its spirit — warm?