Another lively year of work travel and a record 168 airplane rides, three continents, and far too many airport turkey wraps to mention. 2015 was a trip to India, perspective changing and overwhelming to the senses. The joy of travel is to experience and engage the unknown. Our Guide explained that most Americans don’t get to India until they’ve been to 25 or 30 other countries. Go. Go to India.
The Great Wall of China is extraordinary, particularly on the day we got to visit with clear air, recent snowfall, and a small crowd. Modern China is a peek into our own future, and each and every institution (including the subway) has armed security and a metal detector. Soon it will be in the USA, alas.
I was part of opening a new theatre in 2015, the result of a successful capital campaign in Omaha, Nebraska. The new BlueBarn Theatre is amazing, the result of a strong artistic vision leading a dynamic group of collaborators. I’ve been fortunate enough to open seven theatres in my career. It never gets old. The BlueBarn is most certainly my favorite.
After spending a considerable chunk of 2014 in Alabama and Tennessee, this was a down BBQ year. Decent West Carolina pulled pork can be found in Winston-Salem, which is a fine college community with some terrific non-profit organizations.
New Orleans in my new Asheville. It is amazing to me how this city has overcome tragedy and is now in the midst of an absolute economic and cultural resurgence. I believe deeply in cities. I believe deeply in New Orleans.
I brought New Orleans funk to the backyard over the summer. If I invite you to the next party, show up. You know who you are.
Burlington, Vermont has always lived in my imagination as the home of my two main 90s cultural idols (a playwright and a band). It didn’t quite meet my expectations, much like any Oz. But the sunflowers are lovely.
Buffalo? Yes. Buffalo is vibrant and unexpected. Drop in, especially in the late summertime. And the Falls are brilliant.
My 10 year run of attending a music festival continued in 2015, attending the mighty Forecastle in Louisville, another growing and wonderful city. Half the crowd was from Indianapolis. We cannot seem to get it together to put on our own summer Fest. Let’s fix this.
It was a most productive client year, the best ever, including Albany, a fine American city with spectacular public spaces. It is also the former home of the best cold pressed coffee in the United States. I hope our Cold Presser returns soon from Peru.
On a trip to Panama I sat right next to Karl Rove, Republican Dirty Bird. He watched me watch some violent gangster movie on my iPad. I watched him listen to Bob Dylan on repeat. Bob Dylan. Ick.
I passed through Atlanta at least 25 times this year. No one believes this happened (and I got no pictures to prove it) but I made a last second flight connection that involved a personal lap around Hartsfield-Jackson airport in a Delta Porsche. Also, my water bottle was returned to me from Santa after being presumed gone forever in Dayton.
168 flights over 40+ weeks of travel in 2015. Onward and Onward.
Meet the people where they are in 2016. Physically, politically, spiritually and professionally. Be Generous with your time and talents. Go.
Expand your horizons. Welcome new perspectives. The world’s fundamentalists (of every sort) do not want you to do that. Their (only) currency is fear.
See you up the in air in 2016.