Most of you probably do not know this, but today is my **rd birthday. And as birthdays tend to do, this day has caused me to reflect on why these milestones hold such significance in our lives.
Birthdays are like an Edgar Allan Poe-esque clock, hidden beneath the floorboards, ticking loudly and tallying up the years of our lives with rhythmic consistency. Every 365 days, we add another tick to the time sheet and it is the comforting predictability of it all that makes us cling to them so dearly.
The world is constantly changing and the only thing you can really count on is that you can’t count on anything.
Except for birthdays.
And while a human’s birthday is pretty cool, a nonprofit’s birthday is far more remarkable. Most nonprofits are quite familiar with change and if they want to survive, they must be able to adapt at a moment’s notice. Funding cuts, legislative restrictions, and social trends are all issues that have permanently altered the way nonprofits do, and stay in, business. As a nonprofit gets up there in years, its success is a testament to its ability to effectively deal with the curve balls thrown its way. Oftentimes the nonprofits that survive in difficult economic times are the ones that have been able to find truly creative and inventive solutions to deal with the changing environment.
As America’s oldest nonprofit arts organization dedicated to producing, performing, and promoting jazz, The Jazz Arts Group is one of those nonprofits. Tonight, myself and some of the other Fellows are braving the blazing heat to attend JazZoo’s Rhapsody in Zoo at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. This concert series is a perfect example of a nonprofit using creative and effective means to both further their mission and raise funds for their organization.
So always remember that change is not inherently bad and it has the potential to bring out the best in us. Creativity always counts.