This is the blurb – in its entirety, that I wrote for the JAN-APR 2013 ATAC program book.
My name is Phil Knudsen and I’m the new guy at Amazing Things. If you don’t yet know me, please be sure to introduce yourself when we finally meet. Please forgive me if it takes me awhile to remember your name. I have a big challenge ahead of me. It is not easy to follow a beloved founder of an organization. I am taking on this challenge because I love Amazing Things and I want to continue to see the vision of Michael Moran continue to thrive and grow in Framingham. I come from a different world; a world of measurement, observation, hypothesis and experimentation. I have spent over thirty years in that world during the day while spending my free time in the world of creative expression, music and poetry. I am looking forward to spending the next phase of my working life bringing my two worlds together. I know I am a lucky man. Not everyone gets this chance, and I’m excited to begin.
The Amazing Things Arts Center is a wonderful home away from home for many of us. Here, we can listen to music from Jazz to Americana, A Capella to Instrumental, as well as Folk, Cabaret and the best original and cover material from current singer/songwriters. We hear old favorites, new artists and everything in between. Several times a year we are treated to theatrical performances; some well known and familiar, some new, some funny, some serious. We have a MetroWest jewel right here on Hollis Street – right in downtown Framingham!
As you look through this program book and make your plans about what shows to attend in the coming months, reflect on how far this little idea for a community built around the arts, has come in the last eight years. From a less than secure inception, renting space for shows in coffee shops and schools, to a store front in Saxonville where the new community started to gel and then to our present location in the old Framingham firehouse, where we have been going strong since 2008. As you look around the firehouse, you’ll see the work by volunteers, the well-spent money raised through grants and also directly from gifts from our members and friends. You’ll see the fruits of hard work and love. Who might have imagined all this when Amazing Things started? Well, at least one person did. His name is Michael Moran.
As is often the case, we have what we have because of the vision and foresight of someone who went before us, someone who smoothed out the rough places, someone who’s persistence plowed through obstacles, someone who worked to make it come together. I know I have big and brightly colored shoes to fill. I am humbled by the opportunity because I love Amazing Things, too!
I’m not going to tell you that nothing will ever change. However, the mission of Amazing Things remains the same:
“The Amazing Things Arts Center brings together a diverse community of artists, arts supporters and arts appreciators of all ages, cultures and interests, through the transformational power of rich and varied art forms that provide a nurturing environment in which to meet, understand and accept each other.”
So, take a look at this program book – look at diversity and the high quality of the shows coming up in the next few months. Michael has done another great job of booking and will continue to do so for most of the shows in 2013 in his new role as Artistic Director. I will be taking on the day to day management of Amazing Things and will work closely with Michael to move us through this transition. There will be more to look forward to and I ask each of you to stay with us, introduce yourself to me, volunteer, become part of the fabric of Amazing Things!!
Have I said it already? I love Amazing Things – we’re just getting started!