Thursday, May 10, 2007

Getting Hands Dirty

Thanks to Issac Butler (see sidebar) for drawing my attention to this article in The Guardian: Political Artists Should Get Their Hands Dirty. My only quibble -- although a substantive one -- is whether getting involved in national politics rather than local or even regional politics is the best way to go. While national politics gets the most media attention and discussion, local politics will probably have a bigger and more important impact on yo9ur work. I have tended to ignore local politics for some time, and now I see the error of my ways. For instance, the city of Asheville is planning to build a performing arts center, but it has decided that the best thing to do would be to build a 2000 theatre to accommodate touring shows and concerts. But if you are trying to create a vibrant arts community -- and a large part of Asheville's cache is based on that -- then you need to support the artists who live in the city, not those who just toodle on through! Had I been more focused on local politics, I probably could have gotten myself a seat on the planning committee where I could have supported the pleas of excellent small professional theatres like the North Carolina Stage Company, which really needs to move to a 300-seat theatre. Instead, I was focused on the "big picture" of the NEA. Duh!

No comments: