“Music is an avenue for finding your own hope.”

by Karen Herlitz
Many only know the name “Shalin Liu” as it relates to our beloved performance center, but its namesake is a true music believer who hopes that the lauded venue, which opened in June of 2010, continues to provide an inspired space for music to enrich the lives of all—both audiences and musicians alike. Anyone who speaks with Shalin can immediately tell that her enthusiasm for arts and education is important. “I try to help improve the world!” says Shalin. “These spaces bring people together to appreciate music.” After the building opened, she was touched to see how “people responded genuinely to the experience in the room.”  She has also shared one of her favorite musical memories:

I was sitting in the Hall alone while a group was recording a piece. Normally when I am sitting in the Hall, I am     surrounded by 300 other people enjoying the music. When I realized I was the only one in the room, I felt a spiritual connection with the room, the ocean, the sky and the space. I felt privileged, for the very first time, to see the other face of the Hall.  The Hall is almost sacred—it generously embraces us; it quietly supports us with natural beauty and amazing musical experiences individually. I don’t think people who have been to the Performance Center will forget that place.

During the In Concert with You campaign, Ms. Liu not only completed the spendable fund for the maintenance repairs of the Shalin Liu Performance Center, she also established the seed money for the Shalin Liu Performance Center Building Preservation Endowment. Last year, when the Shalin Liu Performance Center’s chiller was no longer functional, this endowment fund was integral to replacing this significant capital investment. When asked about this incredibly generous gift, she was adamant about safeguarding the building’s future.

I realize the program is important, the musicians are important, artistic leadership is important. But the building is also important, and I wanted to ensure that the building is preserved for the long term. I hope that in my giving to the building, others will be inspired to give towards the building, as well as giving to programming, leadership, and to the education and outreach initiative.  For me, I feel the building is as critical to the experience as the music… It is shelter and shelter is sacred. We all need shelter, but this is spiritual shelter.

One of her other great passions is nature. In Boylston, she has recently expanded her Summer Star Wildlife Sanctuary from forty-five acres of land to one-hundred acres.  It includes the Trailhead House, a LEED Gold certified green building which includes a forest-like Tree Room where musical performances are hosted.

An avid lover of both the arts and nature, Shalin wholeheartedly believes that we all can help people to enjoy music, to care about the earth and wildlife, and together we can make our world a more beautiful place to live. The next time you come to the Shalin Liu Performance Center for a concert or event, remember there is a passionate and deeply caring individual behind that name.

If you would like to make a gift to the Shalin Liu Performance Center Building Preservation Endowment, please contact Lori Correale, Director of Development, at lcorreale@rockportmusic.org or 978-546-7391 x.103.

Top Photo: Shalin Liu in the hall. Credit: Doug Levy for the Northshore Magazine