Lou Harry's A&E

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Arts & Entertainment, etc.

Monumental arts mobilization

April 7, 2009
I'm guessing that many of you have already seen the e-mail that is being circulated prodding you to join a rally on Monument Circle April 20 designed to "increase awareness of the importance of the arts to the local economy and to the city’s reputation."

The effort to show the impact of arts and culture on Central Indiana’s economy and reputation runs from noon to 12:30 with pre-rally tunes from Cathy Morris.

"Central Indiana’s cultural institutions have been sidelined in this city’s success for too long," the notice states. "It’s time to make some noise."

Quoth the release: "The purpose of the Indy Culture Matters Rally is to share with our fellow Hoosiers in a very tangible way, the impact of arts and culture on our everyday lives on a personal, emotional and economic level," said Glen Kwok, ICAA President and Executive Director of the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis. "Most importantly, we want the community to understand that in addition to playing a role as a vital industry in central Indiana's economy, these cultural destinations and arts organizations reach people from all income levels, age groups and cultures whether through direct or indirect participation."

More info can be found at www.indyculturematters.org. The event is being organized by the Indianapolis Consortium of Arts Administrators (ICAA).

The rally is a gutsy move...with some risks. Too few people and it looks pathetic. Even a decent crowd on the circle can look small because of the big groups that are often there for different events.

But in a town where the sports teams are asking for handouts, it seems about time that the arts organizations "make some noise."

I only wish there was a way that the rally could show the real crowds ---the ones who get out to the A&E events. I wish there was a way to get a team to photograph, on a given day, all of the people who are at performing arts events and galleries throughout the area and put all of those photos together. To see the symphony crowd and the First Friday crowd and the live comedy crowd and the patrons of community arts orgnizations and the professional theater audiences and the jazz club ticket buyers and the kids who see the work of visiting artists in schools and all the others who hungrily and happily make Indy arts a part of their lives would truly be something to see. Add in shots of the performers/artists and, well, you'd be showing quite a voting block.

Your thoughts? And will you be there on the circle on April 20th?
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