The Ageless Garde
While visiting the Garde Arts Center in New London, Connecticut, I decided to take a step back and enjoy the show. As I walked past the statue of Humphrey Bogart draped in a blank with a photo of the Garde on it I began to think to myself. While walking around the lobby I decided to take a look at the PACE binder they have. When I was flipping through the pages I was happy to see the notes from the many schools in the area that come to the Garde. There were notes from teachers, students, and principals who thank them for their generosity. Reading some of these notes, I began to realize the Garde is ageless for entertaining guests and welcoming volunteers.
While popcorn was being prepared for the night, I talked with the youngest volunteer. A freshmen at Fishers Island School I was informed that she was a part of their Summer Program. Now, as a volunteer, she enjoys welcoming people who walk into the door. On this particular night she was clicking to count the amount of people who came and saw the show. “I’m interested in theater. I get a lot of hands on experience at the Garde,” she tells me. Always smiling with her work, she seems pleased that she is able to be part of the family at the Garde.
In another section of the lobby are two people who are from the Salvation Army. These two wonderful people are working on getting the word out about their organization. With flyers that are highlighting their upcoming events, such as a dinner at the Port and Starboard Bridge, they talk to me about the Salvation Army. From them I was able to learn that the Salvation Army was not only an organization, but a church as well. While they were there they were advertising for bell ringers for the upcoming holiday season to fill up their red canisters. By learning that the Garde was willing to welcome in people from other organizations, like the Salvation Army, gave me a sense of community involvement that comes with the culture of the Garde Arts Center.
After greeting a few friends, I entered the theater to enjoy the movie The Man Who Knew Infinity. While showing previews for upcoming movies Captain Fantastic and Life Animated, I noticed the audience in the darkened theater. When the movie started to show, there were some whispers about the film starting. But, they sat back and enjoyed the show. Among the laughs at the small jokes and the sighing at the bad times, I felt enlightened. When the movie ended the audience burst into applause at this fantastic picture.
While walking out I overheard some of the audience members talking about how wonderful the film was. The movie was based on a true story about Srinivasa Ramanujuan, a mathematical genius living in India. A professor at Cambridge University, G.H. Hardy reads his work that he sends him and allows him to come to England. Now, the movie takes place in the year 1914 just as World War I is about to start. After making the decision to go to England Hardy and Ramanujuan, alongside John Littlewood are able to make mathematical discoveries while facing against the odds of those who Ramanujuan can’t do it. Yet, Ramanujuan proves he is able to do so even though he had no educational background and was living in a poor slum at the time he was discovered.
The uplifting story seemed to have touched the audience as it touched me. Showing that the sky was the limit, I drove home thinking about how the Garde Arts Center in New London, Connecticut is a place filled with joy for many more generations to enjoy.