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Don’t Run Away from Local Arts

August 16, 2011

I know… many of you (like me) left your small hometowns the minute you switched the tassel over on your high school graduation cap….while pledging to never return!

But return you do, at least occasionally, and hopefully not too begrudgingly, to visit your family.  You may have even found some charm to your hometown that you missed as a sullen, pent-up, desperate-to-escape teenager.

One gem I hope you don’t miss when visiting your hometown is your area arts council. You’d be surprised at what is going in arts at the local level in the United States. For example the tiny Wayne County Arts Alliance in rural Honesdale, Pennsylvania has been presenting the awesome and free Roots & Rhythm Festival for the past 5 years. And in Salmon, Idaho, the local arts council sponsors theatre and concerts in arguably the country’s most beautiful outdoor space — set in the middle of dramatically lit, snow-capped mountains.

Put aside any notion you might have of the local arts scene being inferior to what’s happening in major cities.  I have seen Grammy Award winners sing, Broadway-caliber actors perform and admired paintings worthy of any Chelsea gallery– all in tiny towns across America.

To find out what’s happening with your local arts council, start by checking out your state arts council here. They can then direct you to your local organization.

Give them a visit, see a show or an exhibit, expand your perception of who and what can make art… and while supporting your arts council, you’ll be encouraging more arts programming in your community, so maybe kids living there today won’t run away in same panic as we did!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 16, 2011 11:49 am

    You really opened my eyes! This is something that has never crossed my mind when journeying back to where I was raised. It certainly will now! Thank you for this terrific advice and useful links.

  2. August 21, 2011 11:48 am

    Thanks Pamela! Where is your hometown? I hope you can find some great art there. And if you are an artist yourself, your hometown arts council could be another way for you be supported in your work through grants, festivals, etc.


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