Joe Worthy, Lighthouse Chief Impact Officer
All I need are a few simple things from you, though I don’t know how easy they’ll be.
1. I need justice.
I don’t like to leave things like justice up to chance or at the mercy of a “year,” but if you could just put a finger on the scale, that’d be much appreciated. We’ll handle the rest.
2. I need the Dallas Cowboys to win a Super Bowl.
Don’t play with me. My boys are lookin’ good. We finally let Jimmy Johnson into the ring of honor. The curse should be lifted. Please talk to the football gods. Jerry Jones’ mistakes ain’t got nothing to do with me!
3. I need February to not be so cold.
I don’t think February has much to offer. It’s short. It’s a month where certain people think they’re absolved of their sins by quoting Dr. King. Not being so cold would make that more bearable. I live in an old drafty house. Help a brother out!
4. I need you to fix the supply chain.
The cost of food, wood and repairs is through the roof. This is getting out of hand. Covid was like four years ago now. Enough is enough! Let’s get this process under control, please!
5. I need A.I. to chill.
Look, I appreciate new technology, like everybody else. But I also watched “I.robot” in my youth. To the extent art imitates life we need to take a breath and think about this. Of course, the internet is telling us it’s great because A.I. is running the internet, and it has self-preservation tendencies. Pull the plug and reassess! People still need to read.
Jelisa Harvey, Lighthouse Operations and Finance Manager
Hey, 2024, it's me.
I don't know you like that yet, so I'm addressing this letter with respect. But I do want to lay the law down early before we continue: Be kind to me! I am all about healing and bettering myself. I know there is some self-work for me to do, but don't add anything extra to my plate, and don't bring in new anxiety that will require additional work, which will cost money.
Speaking of finances, listen, can inflation deflate in 2024? Can you make things less expensive? That would be great.
Also, who doesn't like to laugh? Let me find more daily humor; I heard laughter is good for the soul, so provide me with more. Be nice and show limitless kindness to my body, mind, and spirit. I'm still determining how you will act, but what I need is not too much to ask, so let's match each other's energy! I'll see you in a few weeks; bring flowers!
Sirita Render, Lighthouse Art Director
I've been tasked with writing a letter to you about how to treat me and what I need. When I began writing, it became a long list of needs and wants.
Each day I added more line items to it. And, again, I paused.
Hmmm … this isn't how I want to do this, 2024. I feel like I want to communicate this to you as a fine art piece, but 1) the assignment was to “Write a letter to 2024,” and 2) I don’t have the materials or space to do a visual art piece as grand as I envision. Ah, the perfectionist saboteur arises with an excuse, paralyzing me before I even begin. “I don’t have enough spa-a-a-ce, materials, or tii-i-i-ime to paint!” SMH. I see myself.
Anyways, like I was saying … I’m torn. This is supposed to be "a letter,” but I feel like I want this to be a visual art piece because that's how I feel more comfortable expressing myself. Second to visual communication for me is written communication; Third is verbal. However, I have been known to excel at oratory competitions back in the day. Pops collar But those were rehearsed speeches. That was different. I digress…
So, one of the things on my long list was “I need more opportunities for untapped gifts and talent discovery.” How can I discover my untapped gifts if I only keep doing what I'm comfortable with? How do I learn new talents if I keep doing the same things I’ve already done?
Yes, newness is what I need from you, 2024. Stagnation bores me. When stuff stays the same for too long, I get antsy. I need excitement! Give me fresh experiences and exciting opportunities to choose from that will help me discover my untapped talent.
Ooooh! You know what I’d enjoy? A paid apprenticeship. My first job in high school was a paid apprenticeship in an after-school arts program called Gallery 37, now called “After School Matters.” I loved that program! It was the catalyst for my lifelong career in the arts. Before that, I didn’t know I could get paid for doing two things I enjoy so much—learning and creating. I got to explore creative art modalities including papermaking, painting, printmaking, ceramics, and finally graphic design, where I found my passion. The fact that the art I created in that program was selected to promote the program and sold in Gallery37’s art gallery in downtown Chicago still gives me an immense feeling of pride.
So, you know what I need, 2024? I need an adult version of this paid apprenticeship program, so I can learn and explore different creative avenues.
In your hands, 2024, I entrust the brush that paints the portrait of my future, hoping that, together, we can create a masterpiece of excitement, new growth, self-discovery, and greater fulfillment.