(Easton, Md. – July 16, 2020) A crowd of over 100 people joined Dock Street Foundation, Mid-Shore Community Foundation, Avalon Foundation, Talbot County Arts Council, and Discover Easton to kick-off the celebration of Hopeful 2020 on July 10th in Thompson Park (corner of Dover and Washington Streets) in Easton. The event included the unveiling of two art sculptures, located at the corner of Washington and Dover Streets, created by Maine artist, Charlie Hewitt. His mixed-media work incorporates marquee style lighting into a retro-inspired sign illuminated in colorful hues. Two additional art sculptures by Hewitt have been installed on Harrison Street and on South Washington Street in Easton. A few very generous and “Hopeful” citizens of Talbot County helped fund the signs.
Hopeful 2020 engages citizens to express their feelings of hope for the future by contributing funds to the Mid-Shore Community Foundation’s Covid-19 Response Fund in support of nonprofit organizations that provide food, shelter and health services to Talbot County’s underserved residents.
According to Buck Duncan, President of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation (MSCF), the organization has raised over $500,000 to date for the Covid-19 Response Fund and is awarding grants to organizations serving individuals in need in the five-county area. He commented, “Your support and the support of the MSCF will help us move the ball forward.”
The event included music by Robbie Schaefer, a musician, songwriter, and playwright devoted to service through the arts, followed by a brief unveiling ceremony and remarks by Hewitt, Duncan, Joan Levy, Executive Director of the Talbot County Arts Council, and Richard Marks and Amy Haines of Dock Street Foundation. The Talbot Arts Council is participating in the Hopeful 2020 campaign by encouraging arts groups to consider new projects in music, fine arts, craft, poetry and writing related to the theme of “hope.”
Hewitt reflected on his artwork, “The idea of ‘hopeful’ came out of a dark place. I was feeling sad at the time about politics, about addiction, about life.”
Hewitt said he woke up to the idea as soon as he said to himself, “I am not going to accept that.” And the word ‘hopeful’ came to mind. He added, “Hopeful is not a gift – it’s a challenge. To be hopeful requires action, it requires commitment, it requires opening your eyes, it requires making a decision, it requires being part of something. It requires being passionately in love with your country, passionately in love with your family, and passionately in love with everyone in your community. That passion and that love I want back. I want a resurgence in my soul for that kind of life.”
Hopeful organizer Richard Marks of Dock Street Foundation, added about the pandemic, “I have great hope in people that they will figure things out. . . This has forced us to look at things differently and to appreciate life more. I am incredibly optimistic that we will come out the other side of this smarter, wiser, and closer as a community.”
“It is so wonderful to be talking about the place of art in our lives and to have a demonstration of that. Art will change us. Art does change us. It is something to inspire us. We need more of that now,” stated Talbot County Councilman Pete Lesher.
Those interested in taking an action step can do so by donating to Mid-Shore Community Foundation’s Covid-19 Response Fund at www.dockstreetfoundation.org. Bumper stickers and masks are for sale to support the campaign at Vintage Books and Fine Art in Easton.