Message from the President


Dear IAF Community,

This month, many of us listened intently as Amanda Gorman, the nation’s first National Youth Poet Laureate, delivered her poem, “The Hill We Climb,” at the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. At just twenty-two years old, Ms. Gorman inspired millions of listeners with stirring words powerful enough to move a nation.

The day before, on January 19, two Idyllwild Arts students represented the school at an inaugural event hosted by the California State Society, in honor of Vice President Harris. Joe Davis ’21 rendered a spirited version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and Aminta Skye ’21 performed an original song, “Ivory is Normalcy,” that reflected her experience as a Senegalese-American.

Time and again, we are reminded of the vitally important role that Idyllwild Arts plays in the lives of young artists. The global pandemic has only strengthened our resolve to provide them with the tools to be imaginative and innovative. We are committed to creating the spaces, whether online or in-person, for students to pursue, fail, succeed, grow, and experience the process of pursuing their passions toward purpose.

In these uncertain times, I am reminded of the mission of Idyllwild Arts of “Changing lives through the transformative power of art,” as well as of the words of the late Nobel Prize-winning writer Toni Morrison:

“There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal. I know the world is bruised and bleeding, and though it is important not to ignore its pain, it is also critical to refuse to succumb to its malevolence. Like failure, chaos contains information that can lead to knowledge—even wisdom. Like art.”

Warmest regards,

Pamela Jordan