Wednesday, February 03, 2010

LaMoine McLaughlin on TheatreFace

If you want to learn about how the arts function in smaller communities, go to Theatre Face TODAY at 2:00 EST for a conversation with LaMoine McLaughlin, director of the Northern Lakes Center for the Arts in Amery, WI. If you want to find out about Northern Lakes Center for the Arts, read his wonderful article "Let Art Begin at Home: the Amery Story." LaMoine has been leading his organization for over twenty years in a city with fewer than 3000 people. What's his secret? Find out today at 2:00.

UPDATE: I didn't realize that you needed to be a member of TheatreFace in order to receive an invitation. My apologies to those who tried to log in and were turned away. First, I encourage you all to join TheatreFace, which is run by Jacob Coakley who is the editor of Stage Directions Magazine. Second, I am going to try to get access to the transcript of the discussion and make it publicly available.


ukejackson said...

Tried to check it out but was blocked. It says "by invitation only".

Paul Mullin said...

So really, London exploited Stratford-upon-Avon? He should've stayed where he was? Good glover? Lear would've come to him in any case?

This line of argument seems a stretch to me, Scott. People ostensibly have wills (As Will did, or claimed to). To treat them as commodities is as reductive, if not more so, than the phantom exploiters you disparage.

There's a better argument lurking in the neighborhood of this one.

Scott Walters said...

I am assuming you are responding to a different blog post than this.

The issue, as I said in the post, is the expectation that the rest of the country ought to support the stealing of talent through their tax dollars. The fact is that people go to NYC not because they deeply desire to live ther, but because that's where all the money has gone, and where all the prestige is perceived to be. In this sense, yes, it is exploitative. When a system is created that tells people they cannot do what they love in the place that they love, then it is extractive. Yes, we have individual wills, but we also respond to conditions. Had there been a theatre in Stratford, Shakespeare might have stayed there -- after all, he went back there after he retired, he didn't stay in London.

Paul Mullin said...


Sorry. I was traveling and must've gotten confused about where I was posting my comment. Chalk that up to your deliciously evocative ideas.

But that said, there's something romantically unscientific about comparing Stratford to London or Jacksonville, MD (my home town) to New York or even Seattle. It's like comparing a river to an ocean. Sure they're both bodies of water, but they behave differently. They have different ecologies, and one feeds into the other. To argue otherwise is a dodge, a fudge. And in the services of ? What? I'm not sure. Maybe you could explain that to me.

Do you really want to divvy up funding to all the various rivers that feed into NY. Have you run the numbers on that? Or are you suggesting that some small towns are inherently more worthy than others?

I'm not being rhetorical. I really do want to know. For instance, Seattle and Baltimore (my home mid-market city) are about the same size, but I would argue that Seattle deserves more theatre funding than Charm City simply because we put more effort into the art form.

But that's MY argument. How would YOU argue for divvying up the limited resources? Would Asheville automatically deserve more because YOU'RE there? I don't necessarily think that's crazy, but then I happen to admire you. (I needn't remind you that not everyone does.)