Sarah West: Sustainability – Power of Place

Sustainability– my career and life have continually grown more defined by this word. Now more than at any time before, I question and I endeavor to resource the things which appreciate worth. Recently I visited an establishment.

After exploring the menu, I placed my order and while waiting I began to take notice and question, what part of this business supports local sustainability. Sadly, this was only one of many occasions where I’ve questions the preceding thought.

All too often, in our region, our local economy seems forced out by larger enterprise. Storefronts reduce to ruin. Mom and Pop establishments fall short of meeting their own needs. Therefore, they cannot facilitate the needs of the community. Local main streets have washed up in recent decades.

And now, a resurgence of interest in grassroots economic initiatives seems ever on the rise. I continue to question, “How does my community play a role in determining its fate and what do we contribute to posterity?”

And then I consider how we might restore a long overdue balance, perhaps reconciling local communities one at a time, so that our culture reflects our values rather than the shortcomings evoked by abandoning time.

Just two weeks ago, I informed my readers of an upcoming community milestone. I find it empowering to have crossed paths with people who are initiating change, and who, furthermore, are wanting to work with others in making their hometown a better, more nourishing place. I’ve grown to realize that any movement, if we hope for it to take hold and stay, must begin at the heart of a home, a town and place.

Here at my local business, we strive daily to influence positive change. We know that it matters to those we serve, where our goods are resourced, and what fellow businesses among us we support.

The experiences of late have provided me with unparalleled encouragement to continue my quest to celebrate and bring together fellow entrepreneurs, farmers, craftsmen, educators and activists who are doing their part to restore and sustain quality, cultural appreciation and localized life to their communities and state.

 Art is Life Expressed – Sarah West, owner of the Sarah West  Gallery of  Fine Art