Monday, November 19, 2012

It's Like a Five-Point Star

A successful art scene has several components. First, there are the artists. There would be nothing to see if there were no artists.

Second, there are the venues. Artists generally need places to show their work. Theoretically, we could have studio tours where people are invited to come over to see what you are doing, and that is happening to some degree in many places. But generally, art galleries and other public spaces fill the bill here.

Third, there is the public. Artists show their work so that it can be seen, can be engaged.

Fourth, there are the patrons or sponsors who support artists and galleries. These can be individuals, but more often are foundations, businesses and/or institutions, including federal, state and local provisions for the arts from government bodies.

Fifth, there is the media, which serves to inform the public of the arts happenings, inviting, dissecting, analyzing and encouraging participation in the arts, identifying the players, discussing their motivations and aims, educating the public and challenging the artists.

In other words, it's like a five point star which, when working, benefits everyone involved.

Here in the Twin Ports, we've seen progress on a number of these fronts. The DNT's Wave section on Thursday's has always been useful, but limited due in part to staffing. This past year The Reader has added a little coverage of the arts and artists in our region, and there are several other small periodicals that serve that function. But it's social media that has made the big contribution to fostering communication between disparate groups in the local arts scene. PerfectDuluthDay.com has helped, and all those invitations to Events on Facebook have helped. Yes, it can get annoying being invited so many places but think about it. At least we're a little more aware of what is going on. Hoo-rah for that. Not too long ago there was really quite a void.

And it's especially encouraging to have two mayors who are advocates for the arts here. Thank you, sirs.

Meantime, life goes on. Have a very special day. We have much to be grateful for.

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