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. Only half a million TV Viewers? And thats an increase? I knew Indycar was struggling but I didn't know it was that bad. Hell, if NASCAR hits 5 Million viewers everyone starts freaking out saying its going down hill. It has a long way to before Indycar even hits NASCAR's bad days.

  2. IU has been talking that line for years with no real progress even with the last Dean, Dr. Brater. Why will an outsider, Dr. Hess, make a difference? With no proof of additional resources (cash in the bank), and a concrete plan to move an academic model that has been outdated for decades with a faculty complacent with tenure and inertia, I can count on IU to remain the same during the tenure of Dr. Hess. One ought to look to Purdue and Notre Dame for change and innovation. It is just too bad that both of those schools do not have their own medical school. Competition might wake up IU. My guess is, that even with those additions to our State, IU will remain in its own little world squandering our State's tax dollars. Why would any donor want to contribute to IU with its track record? What is its strategy to deal with the physician shortage for our State? New leadership will not be enough for us to expect any change.

  3. How do you think the Bridges got approved? I spent a couple days researching PAC's and individual contributions to some city council members during that time. My printouts were inches thick on the two I concentrated on. Finally gave up. Was disgusted with all the donations, and who they were from. Would have taken me days and days to compile a complete list. Tried to give it to the Star reporter, but he thought it was all just fine. (and apparently he was treated well himself) He ended up being laid off or fired though. And then of course, there was land donated to the dad's club, or city, as a partial payoff. All done in the shining example of "charity." No, none of these contributions are a coincidence.

  4. I agree what kind of help or if any will be there for Dr. Ley's patients. I was a patient myself.

  5. What about the hundreds of patients who sought this doctor for the right reasons, to quit drugs. what option do these patients now have, experience horrible withdrawl or return to heroin?? those are the choices. what about the children of these former addicts who's parent(s) WILL not b able to maintain their job, for @ least 2 weeks.. There needs to b an emergency clinic opened for these patients.

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