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.