Tag Archives: practical considerations

WILL You Give?

In the last few weeks, we’ve explored some aspects of giving, including What’s In It For Me?, Why Do You Give?, and now on “Giving Tuesday” we come to the big ask:  Will You Give?

It’s a simple as that.

The Earl Wentz and William Watkins Foundation was created in 2012 through a monetary contribution in memory of Earl Wentz.  This forms the corpus of the foundation’s finances.   Additional support comes through gifts and grants from private individuals (alumni, friends, supporters of the arts and arts education) and corporations.

And these gifts are not only needed and welcomed but they are put to work right away by the foundation’s Board of Directors strictly for the purposes for which the foundation has been incorporated.

And those purposes are excellent ones:

        • promoting, creating, and supporting the musical and other artistic works of the late Earl Wentz and
        • fostering and continuing the educational methods of Earl Wentz, particularly related to music and drama.

Each year, we continue to give thousands of dollars in scholarships to students in need and to provide classes and educational initiatives in the arts, particularly for students who otherwise might have little or no access to high-caliber arts training and programs.

Over 90% of the students and families we serve are currently living below the poverty line.

We continue to promote, support, and produce the music of Earl Wentz with the continued intent of archiving, maintaining, and preserving them with the highest degree of artistic integrity possible.

There are so many ways you can help:

The Earl Wentz and William Watkins Foundation is qualified as a charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions to The Earl Wentz and William Watkins Foundation are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.   Federal tax id #: 46-1415914.


Will you give?

Can we — and all those who benefit from our work — count on you?

If you give to The Earl Wentz and William Watkins Foundation, please share with us at the foundation and others in the community — especially those who may be considering a gift — why.

I invite you to “weigh in” with your own comments and ideas and to share them with other readers by using the “Comments” feature above. You can click the “Comments” button at the top of the page to see what other readers have to say and to create a dialogue with them.

And . . . you can give easily by clicking this link.


© William B. Watkins and “William Weighs In”, 2014-2015. All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction. This blog and all its content and components, including but not limited to photographs, videos, music, and text entries, are fully protected by all copyright laws of the United States of America and by international covenants. This work may not be reproduced in whole or in part in any form. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

A Bag of Tricks

Your growth as an artist and as a human being lies in the constant development of your instrument, which includes your instincts, your mind, and your storehouse of knowledge. It is a series of victories — sometimes small — over fears and doubts. Through practical VictoriesOverDoubtsxcfadvancement and application (that is, by doing rather than talking or fretting about), it is the continual building up of that list of things that change from “I couldn’t possibly” to “yes, I can”.   You might never be among the ranks of the great singers but, by gum, by taking it on, you will be better and not afraid to do it when the circumstances call for it. You will become better and better prepared, more directable, and more marketable.

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Where’s My Mind?

I’ve written a lot about critical thinking in the last few blog posts, partially because I believe it’s something that’s currently lacking to a great degree in our culture and particularly in the arts. In future blog posts, I’ll expand on this and explore the interplay of imagination and rational thinking.

As I have said previously, almost anyone could stand on the stage and “feel”.  But could you do it again? You and I could scream our lungs out at each other. “Wow! I really felt that!” we might say afterwards, licking our chops like cats. But would it serve the play, be interesting and appropriate, or would it just be emotional masturbation? And again, could either of us do that again and again without very rapidly wrecking our voices?

In the end, who really cares if you “felt” it or not? The real test is: Were you able to convey across the footlights the impression that the character was feeling whatever emotion of the moment, by whatever path you took to get there?

Simple emotional indulgence is not only boring to watch, it’s a cheat. You might start by getting “feelings” but can you justify them after the fact?

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L’art Pour L’art

The photograph above, “Balance”, © 2015 by William B. Watkins, can be viewed in a larger format in the Chiaroscuro section of the Image Gallery. On that page, just double-click on the image to view it in a large, slideshow mode.

L’art pour l’art is a French phrase that translates to English as “Art for art[‘s sake]” and may be more familiar, particularly to movie aficionados, in its Latin rendering Ars gratia artis (more on that later).

However it’s presented, this is a mighty motto, noble in scope, affirming that art stands on its own, with its own intrinsic value. That is to say, “art” isn’t just a vehicle for sentimentality, religion, commerce, morals, or politics.

I doubt that this would have ever developed as anyone’s motto, though, had there not been a widespread conflict about the purpose of art to begin. Otherwise, why defend art’s higher end?

When I speak to college students, I often quote from a play that I first encountered as a young college student myself. The words were spoken by a powerful character in a generally cheerless play called Kennedy’s Children, written by Robert Patrick in the 1970s. At the top of Act II, the character Sparger, an actor, comes forward and finally begins to speak his truth, which begins (as he contemplates the room around him), “I used to know a place that was better . . . .”  He continues to describe the wonderland he had stepped into years earlier, “a hole-in-the-wall West Village coffeehouse . . . . [where] We did plays. We — I was one of “us” . . . .

For the character, it was a life-changing experience the night as a young man he first encountered that place and it was holy ground that he spoke of:

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