Great Minds Think Alike

We’re not the only ones talking about a Slow Theatre Movement!  From time to time we’ll repost from the blogs of others who are exploring a Slow Theatre Movement.   This post comes from http://yourtownperforms.com/

“Growing Local”- Not Just for Tomatoes

by Craige Hoover

One of the Sunday morning news shows did a feature story on the recent spike in the number of farmer’s markets popping up around the country. In fact, the number of weekly or monthly farmer’s markets in this country has almost doubled in the last year. As it turns out, people get a kick out of taking in locally grown fruits, vegetables, and spices. Not only are there health benefits, but there are community benefits as well. Buying locally grown products supports local farmers, and the farmers market itself has become a community gathering ritual that people look forward to each week. Sure, the tomatoes aren’t perfect, but that is a welcome trade-off for knowing exactly where the tomato was grown, knowing the farmer personally, and that he or she took pride in its cultivation.

There’s a supply-side reason for the success too. Farmer’s have found that selling their foods locally yields a higher financial return per acre than going through food distributor. Plus, the farmers are able to grow much more diversified crops, which is better for their soil, requiring less fertilizer, which means amore organic product.  It’s touchy-feely for the farmers too, as selling to the folks in their community turns out to be far more personally rewarding than loading it onto a semi-truck.

Does any of this sound familiar?  The entire point of this blog and my work is to try and convince people that the arts can and in fact, should be “grown locally.” It’s kind of remarkable how neatly the comparison fits. In fact, I’m going to rewrite the above paragraph as a hypothetical story about the arts, substituting the subject of the article in italics.

Corny, I know 

One of the Sunday morning news shows did a feature story on the recent spike in the number of local performing arts groupspopping up around the country. In fact, the number of weekly or monthly performing arts events in this country has almost doubled in the last year. As it turns out, people get a kick out of taking in locally produced theatre, dance, music, and visual arts. Not only are there cultural benefits, but there are community benefits as well. Attending local arts programs supports localartists, and the performances themselves have become a community gathering ritual that people look forward to each week. Sure, the programs aren’t perfect, but that is a welcome trade-off for knowing exactly where the programs were created, knowing the artists personally, and that he or she used great care in its cultivation.

There’s a supply-side reason for the success too. Arts organizations have found that selling their foods locally yields a higher financial return per square foot of performance space than does a giant performing arts center. Plus, the organizations are able to feature a much more diversified array of programming, which is better for keeping their programming fresh, their artists busy, and requiring less subsidies, which means more sustainable product. It’s touchy-feely for the artists too, as performing for the folks in their community turns out to be far more personally rewarding than for a dark sea of strangers.

It’s kind of eerie, isn’t it? It also makes perfect sense. Returning to the neighborhood scale is a movement that is not localized to the development, retail, and farming industries, it’s a cultural-wide movement that has only just begun to take root (pun intended).

Advertisements

,

  1. Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: