Friends Friday: Dick + Betty Nelson

Welcome to Friends Friday! While we are all trying to “flatten the curve” we wanted to highlight different Friends of Convos. In case you’re not aware, Friends of Convos is an influential group of arts supporters who bring world-class performances to our community! Each year, they help bring performances to our community and subsidize tickets for seniors, Purdue students, and P-12 students.
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This week we’re highlighting Friends of Convos Dick and Betty Nelson!

Introduce Yourself!
We’re the Nelsons – Dick and Betty – and so pleased to have the opportunity to connect this way with others who love Convos.  We’ve been Boilermakers for more than a half century and Convos’ season ticket holders 99% of that time.  We have both loved working at Purdue – counselor education and Student Services – and are now retirees, but the ‘icing on the cake’ every year has been the cultural events.  We organize our schedules around Convos!       

How did you become a Friend?
Had a ‘gotcha moment’ in the early 1970s.  Walked by the Box Office in the Hall of Music one morning on the way to Hovde Hall and saw a big poster advertising the Itzhak Perlman concert that evening; we did not have tickets because student organization meetings occurred in the evenings, and I was an advisor to several.  Decided that moment, if we didn’t attend events like this, we might never have the opportunity again.  Called for tickets when the Box Office opened; the President’s Office had just returned a few tickets, and we sat in Row 8, Center Section.  Perlman played just for us that evening!  It was a sign!  Haven’t we always been Friends? Think so!  We believe in the importance of the mission to support the arts, we enjoy congregating with folks equally inspired, and time with the artists is memorable – a hug from Yo-Yo Ma!  What’s not to love if you love the arts?!

What was your favorite show this season (or past) and why?
How would you respond if asked which child is your favorite?  Or which ice cream is best? Each is a favorite for different reasons as is true for Convos’ shows.  Fell in love with Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn’s dueling style of banjo playing.  And the cello and piano never sound finer than when played by David Finkel and Wu Han, musical partners married-in-heaven.  And there’s the pinnacle of classical guitar music performed by the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet!  Guess what? Yep, we would buy tickets to see Mamma Mia! again and again if it were on the schedule. 

Who would you love to see Convos bring to campus?
Every group we have mentioned is our favorite, and we would love to see each again.  However, as in the past, we have trusted the scouting skills, global perspective, and intuition of the Convos’ staff to ferret out the best performers and to bring us some of the familiar along with what’s new and innovative AND what fits the educational mission.  This is a new day with new considerations for health and safety and finances – we expect changes that are tailored for this new world.  As in the past, we will be Friends and will be entertained and better informed because of Convos’ events.  Thumbs up for the arts!