I have a story for you this Thanksgiving.
When I started working for Crafty Mart a few months ago, I didn't know much about our local arts. I was a full-time business student without much free time, and last semester I would have laughed at the idea of going to an art show. When the EXL center contacted me, I hadn't even been to Akron's famous Art Museum despite having lived a few minutes away from it for 3 years. And yet, over the summer I found myself severely overdressed at a job interview for Crafty Mart.
A few weeks alter I was talking to our vendors at the Akron Ale Fest. It was purely business, of course, as I was a business student. The usual formalities; collecting photos for instagram, exchanging contact information, asking about their day, and the like. But as I drifted from vendor two vendor, there were two qualities I noticed in each one.
First, I noticed the passion in every vendor I communicated with. This was a job for me, an activity I attended to further my career. But this was not a job for them; it was their life. I worked to live, while the artists I talked to lived to work.
The second underlying quality amongst our vendors was selflessness. From the artist who painted wondrous canvases with great skill to all of our candlemakers, our vendors weren't doing this because they thought it was a profitable business model, but rather, that they were using their art to brighten the lives around them. It reminds me of a quote from Dead Poets Society; "Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for".
Though my time at Crafty Mart may be over, I want you all to know that I have taken away something incredible from this internship. And this Thanksgiving, I am grateful for you; both for the artists who spend their lives contributing to our culture, and for everyone who comes to our shows to support them.
Thank you for your time reading this post on Thanksgiving, and I hope to see you at our 9th Annual show this Saturday.
Dylan Lubinsky, Crafty Mart's Social Media Intern