Soapbox – My Arts Journey #13pForTheArts

A ‘Soapbox’ piece from Karen O’Rawe, reposted from her blog.

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13pfortheartsWhen I was a young single mum living in a small house, struggling to hold down a job and make ends meet, the Arts believed in me and gave me a chance. A job, a life, non-judgmental colleagues and a new view on what NI is about. Now I believe in myself, my ability, that my opinion is valid, that I am valued, important, creative and trustworthy. Is this worth 13p?

Starting out as a shy person with no confidence in my ability, I have managed an Arts Centre, worked on nine Festivals in various guises, managed three theatre companies, produced 2 theatre shows, rehearsed readings and a musical. I am a Chairperson of a company, Director of a charity, have a Full Time job and 2 Part Time jobs. The belief the Arts had in me made me able to do this. Is this worth 13p?

My kids are open minded, confident, integrated and able to hold their own in adult conversations. They are liberal without being judgmental of traditional viewpoints. They are understanding, balanced and will defend those who are deemed different, weak, alone or difficult. They do not see colour, gender, ability, sex or difference. They see people. If they had grown up without the impact of the Arts on their characters, they would not be like this. Is this worth 13p?

Suffering from Post Natal depression and suicidal, I saw a show which made me rethink my journey, my past, my importance, my reasons to live. I did not take an overdose. Is this worth 13p?

The Arts is not just about jobs, events, tourism, entertainment and education. It’s about what makes us people – our well-being, creativity and ability to innovate; our mental health, opinions and ability to understand others; our enthusiasm, our want to learn and our sense of pride. Please don’t be short sighted.

Sign the petition to support the #13pForTheArts campaign.

This is a guest slot to give a platform for new writers either as a one off, or a prelude to becoming part of the regular Slugger team.