I haven’t forgotten about my New Year’s Resolution to see more art. I was planning on doing quarterly recaps but, alas, life. I’ll try to move them quickly. Getting my notes together to start writing this post I realized a couple of things:
- I have managed to worked my family plans into my “see more arts” mission
- I’ve kept my eyes open more to look for opportunities to go see something
In March, I ended up with a sick child the day I was supposed to go to see Cincinnati Ballet so I didn’t make it, and I haven’t made it to a performance yet. I did, however, have a great time in Washington DC for National Arts Advocacy Day. The first day was one of those days were you feel your brain pulsing in your skull and you are hoping that it can absorb as much of the information being thrown at it as possible. That evening there were speakers and a performance at The Kennedy Center – the view from the rooftop is gorgeous. The second day I visited the offices of a few representatives after a morning pep rally with some legislators and celebrities. I was too shy to ask for photos but I did get to shake hands with and briefly chat with Rep. John Lewis.
In April we decided to check out West Carrollton High School’s production of The Little Mermaid. I found out about through the choreographer for the show and, I have to say, I was rather impressed by the quality of the production. This was a test run of seeing if the girls could sit through a musical. They started getting a little fidgety towards the end but they hung in there and we got to see the whole show plus meet some of the cast after.
Since then, we’ve been to Town Hall Theatre’s Disney’s The Lion King, Jr and Children’s Performing Arts of Miamisburg’s Disney’s Peter Pan, both in September. I’ve been picking shows that they basically know the story line of to hopefully help keep them interested. The kids do a great job and I know there are whole teams of parents behind the scenes making it the best it can be. These have been good opportunities to start getting the girls used to attending live performances.
I’ve put putting some miles on the car these past few months with trips out to Columbus, just over an hour away. In April I went out to the OhioDance Spring Festival Performance and got to see a few Ohio dance companies and college programs. I met with state representatives on Ohio’s Arts Day in May. I served as an Ohio Arts Council grant panelist for the first time in May, as well – “yay” for getting to help give away money to arts organizations around the state. Every time I go to the Riffe Center I try to pop in to the art gallery on the first floor – it’s free and changes often enough that it’s a different show every time I go.
I also attended the annual Arts Midwest Conference in August being held in Columbus this year. I was fortunate enough to be selected as a David J. Fraher Future Leader and got to meet lots of great people in the industry plus see a good amount of dance companies from all over.
In June I attended the Dance/USA annual conference in Kansas City, MO. I really enjoyed that they worked in some “pop up” performances from local companies and it also coincided with a performances Kansas City New Dance Partners at the Kaufman Center for the Performing Arts. I also slipped away to visit a few sights, including The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the 18-foot Shuttlecocks sculptures on the lawn.
Around Dayton, I’ve popped into the Sinclair Community College Art Gallery a few times, helped paint one of the many murals going up around the city, attended a Dayton Gay Men’s Chorus performance in June for the first time. Attended Art in the City (mark your calendars for the first Friday in August 2018!) where we got to paint, yarn bomb, play instruments, and catch lots of performances and art works around downtown. We stopped by the grand opening of the new Dayton Metro Library Main Branch to scope out the ReImaging Works collection, including the huge but delicate piece that takes up the whole center of the library, FRACTAL RAIN by Terry Welker. In September we headed towards the Dayton Art Institute for Oktoberfest and to visit the Alphonse Mucha exhibit and for the girls to check out the Performing Art exhibit in the kid friendly Experiencenter. Wright State University’s CELIA program brought Complexions Contemporary Ballet to Dayton for one night in September and Dayton Contemporary Dance Company started its home season with three new premieres all set to music by Wynton Marsalis with live music for portions of it.
I took the girls to the dress rehearsal so they could watch without having to worry about them upsetting paying customers while I was working during the performances. I think they might have enjoyed it a bit too much.
During our vacation in Nashville, TN in July, we got out to see as many of the murals as we could and caught plenty of live music, including a show at the famous Bluebird Cafe.
At the top of the summer I was officially sworn in as a member of the City of Centerville’s Centerville Art Commission and have been having fun getting acquainted with all arts programming it offers including the Summer Concert Series and a new artist featured in the gallery at the police station each month. I’m lucky to live in a city with a good appreciate for the arts between middle and high school musicals, student art shows, and free community programming.
Did you know that the arts and culture industry produces $166.3 billion in economic activity? A few years ago we at Dayton Contemporary Dance Company helped gather survey responses for our local arts advocacy organization, CultureWorks. This summer the results from that survey that fed into a US wide look at the economic impact of the arts and culture industry. Randy Cohen from Americans for the Arts came to talk in Dayton about the national and local findings (#AEP5). In Dayton, the average arts and culture patron spends $19.71 per person. Doesn’t seem like a lot until you realize how many arts and culture patrons there are in a given weekend. Find out what it’s like near you here.