Letter from the Editor-in-Chief, Arts + Culture Issue

It’s ironic to think that the role the arts play in our development is constantly being questioned. The former teacher in me cringes when I hear of programs being cut from schools or when parents encourage their children to have “something else to fall back on” in case they don’t make it in their creative endeavors.

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“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”- Thomas Merton

I cannot think of a time in our history in which we haven’t relied on at least one form of artistic expression that hasn’t forced us to look beyond that which is necessary to survive. Art leads us to create for the sake of expression + meaning. Art communicates, it shapes our everyday lives. Art can make a social statement + be enjoyed.

Art also measures our levels of cultural sophistication. We’ve been able to learn about our human existence through cultural accomplishments and artifacts left behind—many of these having left permanent marks on our planet. I believe that the arts + our connected cultural expressions have been our saving grace, especially through what has been the most difficult years of our shared humanity.

And because art makes life more manageable, tolerable, and enjoyable, it’s why I’ve dedicated an entire issue of BELLA to it. I love being able to document all the beauty generated by the people we’ve connected with through this year, as well as what my team has created.

My love for ballet led me to follow Misty Copeland’s career. It wasn’t until I read her story that I found myself reading parts of my own. Her openness and willingness to share her journey and break barriers is the basis of her life’s work, which you can read all about on pages 64-69.

Because it’s also the most fabulous time of the year, this issue is also jam-packed with gift guides galore to give and receive on pages 30-33, 50-53, and 84-86. We also get Up Close + Personal with legend Master P on pages 54-57 and Get to Know a little more about daytime TV’s sweetheart Joelle Garguilo on pages 58-63. Nurturing our Mind + Body is hugely important to our readers so we share resources for healing through art on pages 94-95 + share tips on how to creatively date on pages 104-105.

Like I shared, this issue is power packed and one my team and I are grateful to close out the year with. I cannot continue to thank you enough for your readership, our brand partners for their patronage, and my team for their dedication to the broader vision of this publication + our media company.

Together we continue to create masterpieces with each issue. Throughout this holiday season, I encourage us all to truly enjoy our time with what we’ve come to realize is the pinnacle of our existence: our connection to family, friends, and colleagues that are like family.

Stay warm, enjoy one another + these beautiful pages. Until next year!

With so much love,

Vanessa Coppes


BELLA Magazine is a national subscription- and newsstand-based lifestyle publication offering a curated guide to fashion, beauty, health, philanthropy, arts and culture, cuisine, celebrities, and entertainment.

At BELLA, we spotlight the ideal that Life Is BEAUTIFUL!

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