I discovered my love of music in a community college class over 45 years ago ("Re-Imagining CR," April 11). I was not a music major. Since moving to Humboldt County in the mid 1970s, participating in music and musical theatre, often through courses at CR, has sustained me all of my adult life as a great joy and effective stress-reliever.
For many of us in the community, music/theatre is an avocation, not our "day job." Yet it's a part of ourselves that we continue to seriously develop, often by taking classes at CR whenever schedules allow: morning, noon or night. Unfortunately, the benefits of this life-long learning do not show up on a spread sheet. It's such a loss to the community to no longer be a priority in the California "community" college system. Perhaps College of the Redwoods could be the exception to this unwise decision.
Karen Elfers, Arcata
I emphatically agree with the April 4 letter ("Audit CR," Mailbox) complaining of College of the Redwoods cutting its arts and music programs! I've played the violin all my life. When I moved up here, I expected the community college to have an orchestra program. But it didn't. I couldn't transfer to HSU as a music major (where they DO have a full orchestra and a music major program) from a community college that didn't!?
Humboldt is an art-rich community. Arts Alive, music festivals, galleries, poetry readings, ballet and theaters. Yet CR doesn't have a proper orchestra program. Cutting music and arts programs would be doing a huge disservice to our community and future generations!
It doesn't matter where a person's from; we as a people have always been better for those that think outside the box. Jim Henson (puppet master); Danny Elfman (movie score composer); Johnny Depp (actor); Thomas Gibson ("Hotchner" in Criminal Minds, Juilliard scholarship); Peter Jackson (director and producer); L. Frank Baum (author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz); Benny Goodman (big band leader, singer); Ella Fitzgerald (African-American vocalist); Quentin Tarantino (breakthrough director); Oprah Winfrey (TV personality); Alex Haley (author of Roots); the list goes on! How can we live in a world were imagination and creativity aren't valued as much as other disciplines?
Meghan E. Doty, Eureka