Philip Brunelle: Well, first of all, I think it’s fantastic that there is an organization in this country, like the National Endowment for the Arts, to really have this mandate of funding and supporting the arts. I view the National Endowment for the Arts as an organization that inspires us. It certainly has inspired VocalEssence. It has helped us to think bigger than we might’ve, in terms of creativity, and certainly in terms of ideas for reaching a broader community. No matter how many people know about you, there are still-- what-- dozens and dozens and hundreds and thousands of people who don’t. And so having the opportunity, through various kinds of programs that you can apply for, to get support, and then, even if you don’t get support, just knowing what the NEA is doing out there in communities in all 50 states, it’s absolutely-- it’s crucial. And the fact that each of our chairmen have been passionate about trying to let people know, “This is our country. This is what we can celebrate.” So having that wonderful way, through the NEA, of letting us know about-- let me start that again. Just having the knowledge that the NEA is there to help us, to communicate the joy and the thrill of music, and to just know about all these composers and these musicians-- whether it’s classical or jazz, whatever it is-- letting us know that it’s out there and helping to educate people, that, to me, is one of the great success stories.
I just wish that the National Endowment for the Arts had tons more money, because it is such a wise organization. They have spent the monies that they have been given wisely. They have done a great service to this country, and I just want more and more people to know about this. I want people to know that we have this jewel, in the NEA and I want everyone to totally understand and appreciate what it is that we have in this valuable, wonderful organization.
Music Credit: “My Soul's Been Anchored” composed by Moses Hogan, performed by VocalEssence Ensemble Singers.