1990, Recently divorced. Kids in college. Forty seven years old and no longer able to blame my wife or my responsibility to children for my unhappiness in business.
PBS Chanel Thirteen aired the documentary “He Makes Them Feel Like Dancing” about the remarkable choreographer and teacher Jacques D’Amboise and his early years as founder/director of the National Dance Institute.
I don’t recall ever being so profoundly moved by the power of an artist to effect and indeed change the lives of under served youth. I thought;
“I can do that!”
“Don’t be fool you can’t dance a step .”
“True…. but certainly I have something else to give.”
“Yeah…. like what?’
“I can make up ridiculous stories.”
” A fine talent that is. Why don’t you act your age?
“Cause I don’t wanna. Maybe I don’t have to.”
So what I did was take my ability to communicate with children on their own level, my own sophomoric sense of humor and lack of maturity and begin to nurture these most vulnerable children towards the discovery and cultivation of their own innate and unique talents of creativity.
Next year, 2016, Imagine Project Inc. celebrates our 25th anniversary as a not for profit creative arts agency helping our most under served children and prisoners in NYC and throughout the Eastern United States with the objective of allowing them to discover the artistry that lies within.
Though I’ve passed him several times on the Upper West Side, and have seen him at several charity functions, I’ve never had the guts to tell Mr. D’Amboise that Imagine Project Inc. and the great joy and satisfaction I have found as a result of my work, can be directly attributed to his inspiration and the brilliance of Channel Thirteen for recognizing and sharing his creativity and love with us all.