March is Membership Month at the Mondavi Center and we're going to share the stories of several members during the upcoming weeks. Darren Isom is a patron, a member and also a Mondavi Center Advisory Board Member. In his professional life, he's a Partner at The Bridgespan Group.
When asked why he supports the Mondavi Center, Darren replied:
I support the Mondavi Center because in this time of dueling pandemics, the arts are more important than ever and I am thankful for the critical role it plays as an anchoring arts institution for the region. Growing up in New Orleans, the arts were everywhere – from sidewalk and street corner symphonies to rickety neighborhood watering holes whose performances brought solace to those inside and out on the streets, to grand performances in the city’s majestic cultural institutions that reminded us of the endless beauty outside of the Parish’s limits. Like so many of us who grew up in culturally vibrant Black and brown homes and communities, I understood from an early age the importance of music and the arts, as the soundtrack that surrounds us, and as our north star – a way of navigating and documenting our path forward. It was for this reason that I was both excited and relieved when I first visited the Mondavi Center when I moved from Oakland to Sacramento some four years ago. Over the past four years, I’ve grown even more appreciative of the Mondavi Center and the unique role it plays in fostering a new and inclusive arts narrative for the region through its stellar, diverse, and relevant programming. And that sense of belonging, not just to Mondavi, but to the larger world arts conversation that it helps foster, is something to be proud of – proud enough to support.
We also asked Darren to tell us about the most memorable performances he's attended at the Mondavi Center:
Too many to name, but some highlights:
Cécile McLorin Salvant: Ogresse
Camille A. Brown
Dance Theatre of Harlem
Benoît Charest & Le Terrible Orchestre de Belleville