My Town: Agata Maruszewski

AGATA MARUSZEWSKI, Interim Director: Shasta County Arts Council…

“Spontaneous” – that’s the word I’d use to describe my decision to move to Northern California. “Foolhardy” might perhaps be a better term. With a degree under my belt, I set off to start a new chapter of my life – in a foreign land. I had a very idealistic picture of what a freshly minted university graduate could expect once they entered “the real world”.

Shingletown’s woods, meadows and hills are not the kind of landscape a European expects when they think about California. But that’s where I was – city girl transplanted into the rural setting. Sure, I missed a lot of the conveniences of life in a big city, but living in the woods grew on me fast. The quiet – the marvelous quiet that makes frog choruses and crickets seem almost deafening. I have never seen so many stars in the night sky. Fresh air, clean water and stunning views on my commutes. I was hooked.

I soon discovered the Shingletown community was warm, open and welcoming – and creative! I found avid photographers, painters, textile artists, sculptors, musicians, theater actors and directors in that tiny, unassuming town. As I got to know the area better, I discovered more of the artistic and cultural heritage of the North State. Public art enriches trails, parks and neighborhoods, often the creations of local artists.

Performing arts are equally tantalizing. Internationally renowned stars grace the scenes of Cascade Theatre and the Civic Auditorium, and even the smaller venues enjoy star-studded lineups. Local theatre productions offer world-class experiences.

I count myself fortunate to be able to witness and, in small part, contribute to Redding’s revitalization and cultural revival. Redding is fortunate to have so many community groups that dedicate their work to the enrichment of the cultural experience, the recognition and the honoring of the peoples that make up the North State now, and those who have been here in the past.

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