Field Report No. 20170303AH
Topic: The Arts
COMMENTS: On Monday night, a hundred-some people showed up at Mela Coffee Roasting Company for a sold-out performance of The Show Ponies, an LA-based folksy-rock n’ roll band currently touring their new album in the Northwest. The show I saw was energetic, melodic and full of familiar faces. Noticeably, some folks were there as fervent fans and others simply to share in a collective community experience. This is partially what it takes to create magic in a live show—fans and first timers. Through rhythm, keys, and strumming strings, the audience grooved into the reasonable hours of the night. The energy was palpable when the show ended and we all left with elevated spirits. This is the magic you hope to achieve when putting on a show.
Note: the last concert at Mela was over six months ago and it’s possible we will see a revival after Monday’s success. Had it not gone well, who knows what its future as a performance venue would have been.
As an observer, it does seem that more shows are “selling out” than ever before. Whether it’s at the Numerica PAC, Town Toyota Center, Two Bar House Shows, Mela, or Mission Ridge, I don’t remember this happening as much in the past. This is not very scientific but my gut tells me attendance overall is increasing. This could be because the quality of performances have increased or that we have developed trust with the entities involved—maybe both?
What do you think? Are you satisfied with the arts scene or do we still have a way to go?
CONFESSION: It is in my best interest for the attendance of shows to be increasing in Wenatchee. However, I also pride myself in creating events and experiences that are memorable. In the most respectful way, my goal is to produce shows that are “bigger than Wenatchee.” That’s how I believe this community will continue to progress. We need to show up, we need to care, we need to keep the arts alive in Wenatchee. It’s not charity, it’s culture and it’s what makes any community unique. We live in an amazing valley tucked into the Cascade Mountains on the sunny side of a rain shadow—we have everything we need! Add to that a thriving arts scene and we’ve carved out something truly special for ourselves.
CALL TO ACTION: Keep making art and encourage others to do the same. Show up, volunteer, buy tickets, or whatever you can do to help make the arts in Wenatchee great. If people are rewarded for taking risks, then we will continue to thrive as a community.
Upcoming Events to get excited about:
As I hung out around Spokane and Coeur d'Alene this summer, I started asking more questions of the places I frequent. Questions like: What causes are you passionate about? How does your business try to make a difference? Scroll through some of the answers I received...
As the kids happily drop their hard-earned quarters in the Ms. Pac-man machine, we realize we haven't complained about the heat all day... the sign of a well-played summer day.
COMMENTS: When Jeremy Hansen and his team are cheffing it up, you know things are going to both look and taste world class.
COMMENTS: It's an uncommon night at O'Doherty's when the Lord Mayor of Limerick, Ireland stops by... sister-city love on Spokane Falls Blvd.
COMMENTS: ...Since then, Gordy's has become a go-to date night when they can find a sitter for their two little boys. Bigger than that, it's just a small part of their ongoing story. That's the simple power of a secret spot.
Carman stops to talk with me for a few moments. On Friday night, he hopes to fill the place, and begin to fulfill the mission of CHARTS (Child Humanitarian Arts): connecting local artists and art enthusiasts for the sake of children in the community.
For some of us, most of us, maybe all of us, Friday is a celebration for the end of a long, taxing work week. We count the days, hours, and minutes until our time belongs to us once again.