Learning To Ask

The story of my connection with Alice Parker is the story of dreaming big dreams and then asking.

“Those who can ask without shame are viewing themselves in collaboration with—rather than in competition with—the world.” 

― Amanda Palmer, The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help

Yesterday I shared the exciting news that I’ll spend a week studying with Alice Parker, thanks to the support of the MSVMA Carolyn Leep Scholarship.
Today I want to reflect on the asking that got me here. None of the stops on my journey with Alice could have happened without the assistance of generous groups and individuals who believed in my dreams.
  • The Rockford Education Foundation believed in my vision of commissioning a new work for the Rockford Aces and said yes to my grant proposal.
  • When we received their grant, I got the guts to email and ask Alice to consider the commission. She believed in the vision, said yes, and wrote “Cindy” for us.
  • When I needed to find additional sites for her to visit during her trip for the premiere, Kimberly Dunn Adams at Western Michigan University and Jonathan Van Eck at Zeeland High School believed in the vision and said yes.
  • When I wanted to study with Alice in 2015 but couldn’t come during her scheduled workshop, she believed in my vision and offered a week of private study with her. I said yes, please.
  • The MSVMA Leep Scholarship committee heard my proposal and believed in my vision, both in what I could experience and in what I could share about it with the world. They said yes and enabled me to make the trip real.
It is a humbling thing to have people join you in your vision – to have a private dream become a public reality thanks to their belief and yes. It goes like this: have a dream, craft a vision, and ask for help.
It is only by learning to ask that I made any of these dreams come true. 

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