So we have a handful of people anxiously engaged in attempting something that has not been done before, an extensive consideration of the arts from many points of view, by an unofficial group of Mormons. Surely this is a path-breaking, history-making, significant event the pattern of which will be studied and replicated into the future. Therefore, “a record must be kept.” So that’s my job. I copy the emails. I collect the hand-outs. I write the minutes. We generate paper even as we generate ideas. It will all go to the church historical department for the future use of scholars or to serve as an encouragement or warning for those who come after us.
And we hold meetings. We generate groups within groups. Last week there were three serious meetings of slightly different groups on three succeeding days. When we do things for the first time we have to try to keep up, inform, and agree. Sometimes the whole thing seems like too much. As Dave Barry noted in his list of “Nineteen things he did not learn until he was 50,” “If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be ‘meetings.’”
But we persevere. There is a goal in sight, a climax: four days of presenting, performing, and thinking about the artistic tradition and the creation of arts in a community rich with thinkers, creators, and performers. We feel fortunate and entitled to be part of it. Don’t miss it.