Looking back on 2009

December 30, 2009
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Thoughts after looking back on the year of IBJ arts and entertainment coverage:

--If, two years ago, someone had told me that the near future would bring a three-stage performing arts center to the region, I'd have been thrilled. And if they added that the facility would be run by world-famous pianist/musicologist Michael Feinstein in conjunction with the former managing director of La Jolla Playhouse, I'd have tried to wake them up. Putting aside the huge risk, high costs, and big, big question marks about the project, I'm thrilled, as an audience member and someone trying to encourage excellence on our stages, that the Regional Performing Arts Center is happening.

--One of the stories I dodged this year was the death of Michael Jackson. I didn't do it deliberately, but I realize in hindsight that his was a case where I couldn't put aside his alleged off-stage actions in order to focus on his talent.

--I'm thankful that, in spite of tough economic times where every ticket matters, there's been no pressure to soften my arts and entertainment reviews. One of the signs of a maturing arts scene is that it understands the value of criticism and comment. 

--The just-announced closing of Morty's Comedy Joint reminds me that, in the face of the aforementioned tough times, just about all of Indy's arts groups have managed to hold on and stay open. Here's hoping for a brighter 2010.

--In case you missed it, you can find a rundown of my favorite A&E events of 2009 here.

Your thoughts?

 

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  • Indianapolis
    Lou;
    What do you think about the Multi-theater and performing artist affordable housing proposal for the sites adjoining the City Market?
  • city market
    Leo,
    As with the Regional Performing Arts Center, I'll put all economics aside for a second and say I'd be thrilled to see City Market converted into 1/3 YMCA, 1/3 Market, 1/3 theater space with performers in residence.
    In an ideal world, Indy artists could generate enough performances to make it viable and the work would be of such quality that word of mouth would lead to capactiy crowds. More innovative artists of quality would be attracted to Indy--and more who would otherwise have left would stay--and I'd have even more to write about than I do now.
    Here's to dreamers,
    Lou
  • following through...
    It has been an interesting (as in a Chinese curse) year, that's for sure. I, too, am glad that just about all of Indy's arts groups have managed to hang on and stay open.

    Lou, a year ago, almost to the day, you asked your readers to:

    "Resolve right now to attend at least one more arts event in 2009 than you did in 2008. Resolve to do more if you feel up to it."

    People posted some pretty cool resolutions. I'm sure more people made resolutions on their own, even if they didn't write them here on your blog.

    I resolved to attend one more arts event...but I'm not sure I actually did! I'll have to sit down some time soon and total up 2008 vs. 2009. I have directories of what I saw for both years on my own blog, but they are not numbered.

    However, off the top of my head, I did attend at least one new-to-me arts event this year: a Broadway show. Sure, it was here on tour rather than in New York ("Wicked" at the Murat) but it was still a new, and wonderful, experience for me.

    For a while there, I resolved privately to write a little something here on your blog EVERY TIME you posted a new topic. That writing practice/marketing effort started to take over my life, though, so I stopped being so obsessive about it.

    I still check your blog every day, though, and I still enjoy reading your thoughts about the arts, so I'm glad you're still here, too.

    Hope Baugh
    Indy Theatre Habit

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  1. With Pence running the ship good luck with a new government building on the site. He does everything on the cheap except unnecessary roads line a new beltway( like we need that). Things like state of the art office buildings and light rail will never be seen as an asset to these types. They don't get that these are the things that help a city prosper.

  2. Does the $100,000,000,000 include salaries for members of Congress?

  3. "But that doesn't change how the piece plays to most of the people who will see it." If it stands out so little during the day as you seem to suggest maybe most of the people who actually see it will be those present when it is dark enough to experience its full effects.

  4. That's the mentality of most retail marketers. In this case Leo was asked to build the brand. HHG then had a bad sales quarter and rather than stay the course, now want to go back to the schlock that Zimmerman provides (at a considerable cut in price.) And while HHG salesmen are, by far, the pushiest salesmen I have ever experienced, I believe they are NOT paid on commission. But that doesn't mean they aren't trained to be aggressive.

  5. The reason HHG's sales team hits you from the moment you walk through the door is the same reason car salesmen do the same thing: Commission. HHG's folks are paid by commission they and need to hit sales targets or get cut, while BB does not. The sales figures are aggressive, so turnover rate is high. Electronics are the largest commission earners along with non-needed warranties, service plans etc, known in the industry as 'cheese'. The wholesale base price is listed on the cryptic price tag in the string of numbers near the bar code. Know how to decipher it and you get things at cost, with little to no commission to the sales persons. Whether or not this is fair, is more of a moral question than a financial one.

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