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Blogging with Brendan: Goodbye Quincy!

I was looking back at my previous blog posts– all critically acclaimed and widely read (in my imagination) – trying to find some brilliant passage to reference or call back for this, my final QCT blog post. I’ll share an observation about QCT from my very first blog post:

“…it is at QCT that the proverbial ‘table’ is not only full of community members of all stripes, but it’s built by them, too. Each time I stand in front of a crowd here at QCT, I make a point to address just how blown away I have been by Quincy’s enduring and enthusiastic support for the arts. It’s a testament to how consistently QCT has lived up to its vision of inclusion, participation and the celebration of volunteerism. And yet, our work is never over– and my part has only just begun.”

First of all, wow. Great paragraph. Second, that bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (again, in my imagination) brand-new head of education didn’t realize how correct he was in assessing the QCT community. I’m going to admit that, at the time, I was being a touch hyperbolic. I wanted you all to like me. Usually compliments do the trick. Now, with the benefit of hindsight—three years of complex obstacles, ecstatic successes, hellos and goodbyes, a few misty-eyed moments—I can confirm that this is one of the greatest arts communities in the country. The people of QCT, with their incredible strength of conviction and passion for theatre, have made my time here some of the best years of my life.

As I prepare to change locations for family reasons (I’m not leaving, I’m changing my location), I’ve attempted to define what it is that I leave behind at QCT. This is a sobering, actually rather frightening thought process. Are my students mad at me? Worse, are they disappointed? And worse still…will they forget what we’ve done altogether? Then, while cleaning out my desk, I find the piles of thank you cards I’ve kept since 2020. Thank you messages from school partners, from community partners like Teen Reach and the Art Center, from cast members, from students, from friends I’ve gained through the toil and the mystery of making art.

I kept them all. As I found more and more in random corners of my office (I’m not the tidiest person in the world), I re-read them all. Not to feed my ego– believe me, it’s full—but to confirm that something has indeed been built and will remain here to stand the test of time. It’s not about me. It’s not because of me. So many people have been radically changed by their encounter with QCT, and I have been lucky enough to be a conduit for that transformation. With gratitude and encouragement (and a six-pack of energy drinks), I pass the baton to the next Head of Education who—in their own individual way—will carry forth QCT’s vital, essential, education-centered mission. Our work is indeed never over. And though my day-to-day part is now done, I will always be a mentor, supporter and friend to the QCT community.

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