Spoleto's Nigel Redden reflects on immigrants and the arts in op-ed

"We will all bear the loss"

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Nigel Redden, general director of Spoleto Festival USA, wrote in support of immigrants in his Post and Courier op-ed, "Immigrants all," published Saturday.

The original Spoleto Festival began in Italy and was founded by Gian Carlo Menotti, an immigrant who came to the country in 1927; Menotti founded Spoleto USA in 1977. Redden writes, "Spoleto Festival USA still thrives on the contributions of Americans as well as foreigners today. Whether presenting an opera by Antonio Vivaldi or a play by Samuel Beckett, the festival depends on works created by artists from many parts of the world."

It appears Spoleto and Redden in particular is feeling especially concerned about art and artists' place in America right now. In his op-ed Redden sings the praises of Spoleto's varied offerings, highlighting this year's performances of Angel, which is about a Kurdish immigrant, and We Love Arabs, which addresses the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Redden ends with a warning of sorts, about the future of arts if "immigrants, all" are not included: "It would be sad and diminishing for us if those possibilities vanished. Indeed, it would be quite a departure from what we have been as a Festival, and what we have been as a country if we close ourselves off from any part of the world. Ultimately, if we do, we will all bear the loss."

We couldn't agree more.

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