Letter: Inspired by Maya Angelou | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Inspired by Maya Angelou

I went to a humanities conference in Denver years ago, and Maya Angelou was the guest speaker. Her voice moved the room, her face took us all in. A fire came into me. That fire has stayed in me from that moment.

She spoke about the power of art in the fabric of our histories. How the arts hold the best of who we are as humans. She cupped her hands and looked into them and then into us. In that moment we had value. “The keepers of art,” she said. “You are the keepers of the best of us.”

Also at that moment, one of the organizers walked across the stage in a bent position and handed her a note. She turned to him and said, “How dare you? Don’t you know what I am saying is important? I am speaking to their hearts and now you come up here with this note. I am not interested. Take it away.” He crawled away.

I thought of Angelou as Jesus in the temple driving out the money lenders.

All these years later, I find myself staying fired up, pissed off if I have to, keeping the arts alive.

Thank you, Maya Angelou.

Jack Green

Glenwood Springs

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