“It Is Better to Light a Candle”

During the holidays, my family was challenged by the dramatic changes brought on by end-of-life dilemmas. Such moments remind us how precious life is. The micro-reality that my family is experiencing mirrors in some ways the “macro” uncertainty that threatens so many Americans at the start of a new administration: those who face loss of healthcare, bullying because of their identity, possible deportation. Through it all, we have multiple blessings—too often overlooked as we navigate the shifts in our world. These blessings remind us of the sacredness of life and are not to be taken for granted.

Since Election Day, we have grappled with how Intersections can serve as an instrument of peace, justice and human dignity in these times. We didn’t know it at the time of our inception a decade ago, but as we experience early signs of what a Trump administration might mean, we discover anew that we are uniquely positioned for just such a time as this. Intersections’ approach to dialogue and action is vital right now in ways that we could never have predicted: welcoming those with whom we disagree, yet firmly and fiercely standing for compassion and inclusion. Our wider Intersections family—friends and colleagues, partners and supporters—serves as a living witness to this effort, so we call upon you to continue to stand resolute for the values of justice and inclusion that make our society whole. We need you. Now, more than ever.

Friday, January 20th, is Inauguration Day, when a new administration assumes the reins of power in the US. That same evening, Intersections, in collaboration with arts visionary Kate Holland, will offer a program called Light a Candle, bringing together artists from various disciplines to offer a positive and creative counterpoint to the fear and uncertainty that has gripped so many Americans. Kate Holland says that Light a Candle seeks to create a “patchwork” of expressions that mirrors both New York City and the whole nation.

Symbolically and creatively, this program will be a tribute to the amazing diversity reflected in our social fabric, and a celebration of the power of artistic engagement in times of national and global disunity. Light a Candle will feature a variety of short performances – poetic, theatrical, and musical – as well as displays of stunning visual art that will inspire, entertain, and provoke thoughtful reflection about the role of both the individual and the community in building and maintaining a united America.

Intersections has long been engaged in connecting the arts and the social justice world. On the eve of a new administration taking office, the arts can provide that positive ember, that spark of inspiration, to give us hope and confidence in the midst of uncertainty and fear. We are reminded of the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, whose birthday we celebrate this month, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.” At Intersections, our collective lights offer an enduring beacon that lights the way where love and justice prevail.