An Artist’s Perspective
Both-And . . . either-or . . . Unity or Division . . . extremely different life perspectives much a part of our current national discussion. My own spirituality suggests that “all things are possible,” that division, exclusion, or any form of lesser-than or “other-ing”* are simply not what is real.
And it is this core perspective of unity from which Schola’s programming emerges. This season we focus on two ideas — sustainable energy production, and sustainable environmental health — that are sometimes viewed as opposing ideas. Yet, need they be? I have reason to believe otherwise.
From our very origins, life has been in a creative interaction: On one side the earth, with all of its myriad life forms living in delicate balance, and one the other, human kind, with our need to live off the earth's bounty and our capacity for disruptive and destructive nature. In all but the most recent sliver of discernible history, humanity and the environment have worked in harmony. Only in the past century and a half have population growth and technological expansion created a need for energy that has sometimes seen us pillaging natural resources in unsustainable, even damaging ways. There exists a natural tension between those concerned with protecting our global health and those focused on various forms of progress. Can health and progress not live in harmony?
Any solution surely must include the creative element of human ingenuity. As human need for energy production expands, is it not possible that the need might be met in creative, healthy ways? Such influential individuals as Elon Musk and Bill Gates have issued the challenge. Both have stated that they know the answer to our growing need for sustainable, healthy energy is out there. If it is, and I believe it to be so, it will take the creative spirit within us to find it.
It is highly unlikely that I would have any awareness of the enormously exciting field of sustainable energy production were I not the daughter of William Edward (Bill) Simpkin, a recognized leader in sustainable, clean energy production and founder of HiEff Power. The challenge of garnering the attention of those who will take these new technologies into production has been my father’s life-work, a work that continues beyond his own passing in June of 2016.
As I cheer from the sidelines, I have designed a Schola season around the fully-possible mix of sustainable energy and a healthy environment: All Things Bright and Beautiful.
Deborah Simpkin King
Artistic Director and Founder
*A term used by The Right Reverend Mark Beckwith in his homily delivered at Trinity and St. Phillip’s Episcopal Cathedral in a prayer service for peace and healing on November 9, 2016