Let’s Create a State Within Ourselves

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Last night, I had the pleasure of speaking at the launch event for the California Arts Council’s “Create a State” Arts Plate campaign here in Los Angeles.

California is second-to-last in in the United States in arts education funding per capita, and the Arts Plate is the primary source of California’s public arts funding.

Our goal is to get one million Arts Plates on the road, which will generate $40 million annually for arts education and local arts programs for children, schools and communities.

Having a chance to mingle with so many artistic thinkers (including the legendary architect Frank Gehry!) inspired me and got me thinking.

All of of us have the ability to “create a state” within — a state of hope, of inspiration, of love, of courage, of compassion and of possibility.

I refer to this state as The Open Field — a state beyond expectations, beyond fear, beyond judgments, beyond limitations, and beyond definitions.

It’s hard work (the work of our lives, really) but all of us must create this kind of state within ourselves.

I believe that before we can change the world, we must first change our world.

I also had an opportunity to introduce Azure Antoinette, a brilliant poet and and breath-taking spoken word artist. As I say in my remarks, Azure creates a state of awe in me every time I hear her.

Please watch the video below and then join the conversation in the comments section.

Tell us: What state is within you? What are the things in your life, and the experiences you’ve had, that create states of inspiration, courage, compassion, love and possibility within you?

And, if you happen to live in the great state of California, be sure to buy an Arts Plate and tell all your friends about it.

Together, we can empower beautiful, creative and imaginitive young minds to dream and create.

About the Author

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Maria Shriver is a mother of four, a Peabody and Emmy Award-winning journalist and producer, a six-time New York Times best-selling author, and an NBC News Special Anchor covering the shifting roles, emerging power and evolving needs of women in modern life. Since 2009, Shriver has produced a groundbreaking series of Shriver Reports that chronicle and explore seismic shifts in the American culture and society affecting women today. Shriver was California’s First Lady from 2003 to 2010 and, during that time, she spearheaded what became the nation's premier forum for women, The Women's Conference. Shriver's work is driven by her belief that all of us have the ability to be what she calls Architects of Change -- people who see a problem in their own life or the community around them, then step out of their comfort zone and do what it takes to create the solution.

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