Tell it to the Marines

January 10, 2008
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Today’s New York Times features an enlightening story about Mishawaka-native Adam Driver, a former University of Indianapolis student who organized an evening theater performance for the Marines at Camp Pendleton.

Driver, an honorably discharged Marine himself, had the notion that Marines might actually enjoy monologues by such writers as Lanford Wilson, Jane Martin and John Patrick Shanley.

Read the results for yourself.

Any military folks in the readership care to comment on the story? Have false assumptions been made about your cultural interests? Are the arts, in generally, truly snobby about such things?

And, for the rest of you, how far should arts groups reach out to appeal to non-traditional audiences?

Your thoughts?
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  • When I think of non-traditional audiences, I think of prisons. Storytellers, writers, musicians...many kinds of artists have shared their work with inmates in various places around the state, to the benefit of all.

    And is there still such a thing as poetry on the buses? It has been a while since I took a bus in Indy, or Bloomington, but when I did, it was a pleasant surprise to be able to read poems in between the advertisements.

    It is true that sometimes both artists and art fans can be snobbish, but really, everyone has a...right? Well, maybe right isn't a big enough word. Maybe responsibility and opportunty, too. Every human being has the right and the responsibility and (in a well-run society) the opportunity to include artistic expression and consumption and appreciation of the arts in his or her life.

    I am not surprised to hear that soldiers are human, too.

    On the other hand, not every piece of art is right for every audience member all the time. The NYT article says that Driver and the military sponsors had to select their pieces very carefully. I think this is true of any arts group who is trying to develop new audiences.

    Lots of good food for thought here, Lou. Thanks!
  • I posted a reply to this thread two weeks ago - where did it go?
  • Never saw the post, Joseph. Not sure what happened.

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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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