We're still reeling from this news a little bit, but thought we'd be remiss if we didn't place something up in our little corner of the internet regarding the impending exit of United Arts of Central Florida president and CEO Margot Knight from the already winded Orlando arts community. You see, Margot has been more than your average boosterism cheerleader for just under a decade in the region, often courting controversy in the name of the creativity she so believes in – yet never appearing to flinch. When we talked to her back in 2009, she remarked on the confluence of recessionary effects within the Orlando arts world – the death of the opera, the confusion surrounding DPAC – with colorful diplomacy: "Confluence, that’s the word. I think the whole analogy is that we all got scared of something that is worthy of being scared of, but may not be as bad as we thought." Margot's unexpected exit – she always told us that she was going to go live quietly in a trailer someday, not run off to a glamorous arts administration residency at some utopian commune in California, for chrissakes – is, at least to us, about as bad as it gets. This is a big sad.
But for Margot, who is about to marry her longtime boyfriend thereby kicking off the next chapter of her life, the shedding of the shackles of a creative community torn (rather unevenly) between commerce and genius can only be a great thing. We expect to throw back a couple of glasses of truth serum with our lovely lady of the arts before her late October leap, but for now we'll just sit here in our office and sigh while she press-releases her tasteful dismount.
"It has been a most rare pleasure to serve the artists, arts educators, arts organizations, audiences and arts advocates of this region for as long as I have," she writes. "I will miss you. But not the humidity."
Orlando is losing.