Sunday, February 12, 2012


I am reading an anthology of speeches made by E. F. Schumacher which were gathered together under the title Good Work. He writes:
One of the greatest confusions, in most discussions, is the term "we." You know, people say, we ought to decentralize General Motors. I look at them -- I couldn't decentralize the drugstore on the corner! Or we really ought to change human nature -- they couldn't even change their own nature! When I say "we" I am asking what can actual people, small as they are, what can they do?
If you look at it this way, you find if one could make visible the possibility of alternatives, viable alternatives, make a viable future already visible in the present, no matter on how small a scale...then at least there is something, and if that something fits, it will be taken. Suddenly there will be demand. (emphasis mine)
This idea of making alternatives visible seems powerful to me. It points a direction, at least for me. My project in Bakersville will be, I hope, one "viable alternative," one that needs to be made visible in a variety of ways. But there are other alternatives as well, that aren't made visible, or made visible broadly enough so that people who aren't being served by the current system can find it and see whether it fits.
I look at arts organizations like Stage North in Washburn WI or the Northern Lakes Center for the Arts in Amery WI and I feel that they need to be made more widely visible as an alternative.
Such an ongoing project seems perfect for CRADLE. So if you know of arts organizations in small and rural communities that you feel exemplify the possibility of a viable alternative that is rooted in place, sustainable, and participatory, please tell me about it in the comments, or email me at walt828 at


Theatre Ontario said...

I'm not sure if it's precisely what you're looking for in relation to CRADLE, but the Blyth Festival ( is one of our most well-established rural regional theatre company here in Ontario. If you want me to help facilitate an introduction, their GM is on our Board of Directors.

Scott Walters said...

It definitely deserves celebration. Yes, I'd like to be in touch with them! Thanks!