November Letter from the ED



Dear Friends of Hoffman,

Somehow, we are already midway through November! The days are short and the new year is right around the corner. Every year at this same time, I find I need to remind myself to slow down and be present with this brief and beautiful season. As I start my third month as Executive Director, this practice has been particularly important.

Slowing down is not a natural inclination of mine, so I often look to others for guidance. I’ve long been inspired by the concept of “deep listening,” which founder Pauline Oliveros described as: “listening in every possible way to everything possible to hear, no matter what you are doing. Such intense listening includes the sounds of daily life, of nature, of one’s own thoughts as well as musical sounds” (  Practicing “deep listening” encourages me to stay present. During this busy season it is too easy for me to focus on how quickly I can move through my to-do list, or wrap up all of the year’s loose ends, without taking a minute to rest and reflect.

One way I realign with my priorities is through making art. Sometimes this looks as simple as doodling in my journal. Sometimes it’s something bigger. Last month I took a monotype prints workshop with Ben Rosenberg here at Hoffman. The workshop occurred during my work week, and I was completely distracted leading up to it, hustling to get everything done. Thankfully, as soon as we started, all my deadlines and to-do lists floated away. Monotype prints encourage spontaneity and experimentation—a welcome yet largely unconscious reset. Each day, I was moved by my environment, the materials around me, and whatever I was feeling. I was listening. I was paying close attention.

For me, presence is everything. Without it, I lose track of the process and miss out on authentic connection to myself and to my community. As artists and art supporters, you are already aware of the presence that art and art-making demands. The nourishment of an afternoon spent working in the garden or throwing pots on the wheel, a paragraph that perfectly puts a previously indescribable feeling into words, a painting so evocative that you stand staring at it as the minutes tick by…I am grateful every day for a job that allows me to advocate for and support these experiences.

This season, I hope you are able to slow down and enjoy this time of transition—to witness both the familiar and the new. Wishing you and your loved ones good health and good company in the months to come.


With gratitude,

India Downes-Le Guin
Executive Director
[email protected]