Listen: Metropolitan Arts Alliance

On this regional public affairs program, a panel discussion on the state of the arts in the Twin Cities. The six panel members met at The Place, a downtown club of the Arts Alliance. Panelists share their thoughts on trends, problems, and future of various fields in art community.

The panel is comprised of Samuel Sachs II, Minneapolis Art Institute director; Barbara Field, literary manager at the Guthrie Theater; Bernie Singer, president of the Minnesota Association of Community Theater; Don Engle, President of the Minnesota Orchestral Association; Dale Huffington, director of Continuing Education in the Arts, University of Minnesota; and Bob Lundegaard, Arts Education, Minneapolis Tribune.

Read the Text Transcription of the Audio.

The Twin Cities Metropolitan Arts Alliance of the Confederation of artists from all of the individual disciplines the alliances of support and resource Organization for the local Arts community and promotes a healthy Arts environment for the metropolitan area. The alliance also provides an artist Services Program which includes job referrals benefits plans and other opportunities and programs for Twin City area artist earlier. This fall members met at the place the downtown Minneapolis Club of the Arts Alliance 8 new members were elected to the 24-member board of directors at that annual meeting. One of the few times the entire membership gathers together a 6-person panel pondered the state of the Arts in the Twin Cities will be hearing from those people this morning the panel included representatives from theater music Visual and the educational fields of the Twin Cities art scene the speakers in this order are Sam sax director of the Minneapolis art institute Barbara Fields literary manager of the Guthrie Theater Boerne singer president of the Minnesota Association of community.Don Ingle president of the Minnesota Orchestra Association Dale Huffington director of continuing education in the Arts at the University of Minnesota and Bob lundegaard Arts editor of the Minneapolis Tribune now here is the program moderator Karen Knudsen of the Arts Alliance staff. Nationally and our attention is usually centered on the discipline or the organization that consumes most of our time. We may rarely have a chance to know more about orchestras or sculpture or theaters any more than what we pick up from our entertainment pages in the newspapers. We do feel the one of the primary functions of the alliance is to be a communication links link between the Arts themselves as well as with the community at Large. And we're fortunate tonight had to have 6 guests who are not only forces within the Arts in the Twin Cities, but have had considerable experience and contact beyond our immediate area Statewide or regionally or nationally. In The Firm belief that what affects any segment of the Arts Community affects all of us, we've asked each of our guests to speak to us for just a few minutes on the trans and problems and future that they see in their fields after I guess it had a chance to make their remarks. We encourage response from within the panel itself, and we invite you to ask questions ever make comments to any particular members of the panel that you'd like to so at this point. I'll turn the microphone over to our first guests amsac's Thank you, Karen. appalled me a bit when I saw some of my colleague speaker's tonight appearing with prepared remarks I do not have such. Because the task was clearly very simple and very finite we were asked to talk about local Regional and National problems and their Trends problems and Futures in 5 minutes. That's may say something about the state of the Arts in the Twin Cities. I'm not exactly sure what my perspective is one of primarily the local scene, but relating the local scene to the National and indeed the international scene. I thought of a way to sum up what I consider a healthy attitude here and a positive outlook on the future. And I decided that one of the simplest ways which he says something to me is that at long last the Prairie Home Companion is back on in the morning. That says very good things to me. It makes my Outlook a lot brighter. I think if seriously though we are to assess the state of the Arts and the Art of the state as one of the recent Institute exhibitions was so titled. We have to look at free separate categories. When is the hard facts of the financial realities of the Arts both as they relate to the institutions and as they relate to the artists themselves? Second is to the activity within the Arts and or the response to them. And finally and probably most important the quality of the Arts and the quality of the Arts institutions. In the area of the financial State. I must say I am moderately optimistic. I see an increasing public awareness of the change. That is something we are all living through with the moment, which is the shift from private sponsorship of the Arts to a more publicly based sponsorship and indeed consumption of the Arts. Similarly the activity and the response is shifting from a small. Private base for a broader Statewide and indeed. You can say Regional the national bass and without a loss in quality. It is the loss. However quality that concerns me the most because as one relates to the broad base, it is difficult to maintain what I would at least assume to be a quality stance. And this primarily because the educational system such as we have all known. It does not include in its primary curricula. an Arts education we all are aware that from the earliest ages we are. Exposed to an involved in that which is good for us includes health and reading and writing and sports. And we see this as a major part of the force in life force and government and the approach to the quality of our life. If I am worried about anything for future or problems or Trends it is to increase the trend in the inclusion of the Arts and the census in the school curriculum, and to expose more people on a more widely. advertised in consumable base to the Arts I'm concerned when I find that in order to have a serious article. On the Arts published in the media. It is perhaps necessary to submit it first to the New York Times. We are involving entertainment to be sure but we are involved in our hearts and we should all press for the maintenance of Standards. I think the quality that has been created in Minnesota something of which we can all just lie be proud and the exposure that this state and its institutions has received in the National media something quite indeed. Incredible. Some of us are being overwhelmed by request to find out what we are all about. Perhaps in some quarters. It is good that our own people find out what we are all about. Thank you Barbara fields. Hi, I feel very lucky to be here tonight as representative, maybe two organizations the playwrights lab which is very small in the Guthrie, which we know is very large and it gives me a slightly schizophrenic point of view and point of view, which is extremely personal. That is the working artist in this community The Mists of Minnesota is that it's very good here for the Artisan. I spend a little time away this summer a month away working and it within another artistic community and during that time I was able to reflect a little bit and make some comparisons with the outside world, which I think it's very healthy for all of us to do from time to time. I learned some things while I was gone. I was at the Eugene O'Neill Memorial Theater at the playwrights conference at the playwrights conference at the Eugene O'Neill Memorial Theater and while I was there I learned it in some respect. We're no better than some of the other Manatees in this country. There is a great deal of open this which is coming throughout the country for artists to participate and work within a given Community. There's also a willing list now to look at anything which is new which I find very hopeful there are certain things. However, which I discovered makes Minnesota special for us as working artist one. Is it size which I think to be almost Optimum another is The distance from other major Metropolitan places in this area. We are able to know each other and to work with each other in New York City one only knows the people in one's own field and there is no possibility for mix. I find the tempo here radically different from most other places. It is a little more leisurely and there's time for us to reflect on what we're doing and to learn Comparisons aside in addition to size and distance we have one other thing which is our climate, which I think is something that we should take perhaps more seriously. It is very hard. I think art flourishes in the context of difficulty and hardness and I think that's been a contributing factor may be winter valperga snots when there's nothing else to do when we can't lie on beaches in California and go out into the streets. There is a tremendous isolation and this isolation. I feel has turned us into each other and the the productive result is has been a very interesting body of Art and quite different from anything else in the country. I think we have as a group and I think particularly because of the Arts Alliance and a unique view of where we are. Artistically I think that goes is as far as education and politics are concerned as well. And an especially interesting aspect of living in Minnesota as an artist is the willingness of different groups of people to come and go and to share their gifts that is both of the personal level on an Institutional level. For example, the Guthrie Theater the Minnesota Dance Theater the Guthrie Theater at the Minnesota Orchestra and 1/2 1/2 innings in events, which have taken part in the city, which I feel very hopeful. I think that the city have some lacks and most specifically I would. Like to address myself to two of them one is an occasional feeling that no one is watching us. No one being the people in the Big Towns. No one is serving as witness to what we do and what we produce I think that's fine. My feeling is that it's an inferiority complex. We will have to get over no matter what the New York Giants about us and that we are going to have to learn that a remarkable body of work can be produced here with its own personality its own style. The other thing is very specifically I I feel a lack of a shared space a performance space for groups like the Minnesota dance theater and the Gilded Performing Arts in the Minnesota Opera and I think that's one of the problems to which we should address ourselves in the near future. I think it would be very helpful for us to find a place for these people to work and that's really all I want to say. It is a good place. Bernie singer Thank you, Karen. I had an opportunity to travel the last couple years to several of our major cities. And as soon as I start mentioning my activity in the Arts, I immediately get the reaction what the hell is happening up there in, Minnesota. Reminds me of a joke, which I must tell you about the fellow who was the starving actor looking for a job. And he knocked on Agency on Agency New York City. Finally one agency felt sorry for him and said, all right, we have a job to report to the theater on Friday and they'll give you an assignment. He went down to the theater all excited. They handed him a script with one line line was hark. I hear the Cannons Roar. They said read the line. And he said hark I hear the Cannons Roar. They said no Rita with feeling he said hark. I hear the Cannons Roar wasn't quite good enough to do you go home and practice this line for a month. And here's the date of opening night. You don't have to come to rehearsals show up at the theater opening night. So he went home and he walked around his house and he walk down the sidewalk every place. He went continually rehearse this one line hark. I hear the Cannons Roar showed up at the theater and opening night check in at the stage door. They took him down the costume room put on this huge costume on him took him upstairs and put them in the wings. He says, what do I do now? They said practice you're lying. So he walked up and down in the wings and hark. I hear the Cannons Roar hark. I hear the Cannons Roar. Am I on now? It is a no, but get ready. It's getting close. So he walked around a little bit more and all this and somebody grabbed them and said now and throw him out on the stage. Just then there was a huge nice you turn around. What the hell was that? That's what this reminds me of. We have just had a r r i think in the past couple years up here. And I think we're all taking a long look saying what the hell was that that came upon us, and we're in the midst of it now. We have a tiger by the tail we're very very well respected in every place in this United States and all forms of the Arts. And I think that could be a very dangerous thing. We draw from at least five or six surrounding states. We have some large cities and these other states, but they don't have near the Arts opportunities that we have in the Twin Cities. We have Young Person's everyday coming to the Twin Cities wanting to participate and all forms of the Arts. And I think if you traveling these other cities just pick up a Sunday newspaper. Look at the Muse band page at the first page. I turn to and I'm amazed to see the lack of opportunities in rather large cities in the surrounding area. I have one criticism of our situation here. I think we continually are all guilty of using the word v a i call it the VA syndrome. I did some acting and whenever the house was empty the ushers were sitting somebody in the middle of the show. They weren't selling tickets I'm saying they right now there are no articles in the newspapers. We immediately said they why aren't they doing that? And I think the first thing we must do is remember that they are really we How many people in this room maybe a raise your hand I've ever heard of ever gone to the Park Square Theater. Okay, I'm asking a very good crowd because normally the hand-raising isn't quite that high. There's a theater right downtown st. Paul. I'd say a good share of our population you walk by it every day, and I've never don't even know a theater exist in that building and never seen some of their fine Productions. I'm sure many people in this room have never been the cardiogram and never been to the Nancy Houser Productions. I'm sure if I asked you if you've ever been to Guthrie or Chanhassen, the hands would go up. I think we are as guilty of anybody of staying within our own area of interest and failing to Fan out into other areas so that we can all become they instead of we I also feel that there is a paranoia that exist within all of us in the Arts where we do not want to share. The talents that we may inherit a good actor a good artist a good Grant from some Foundation or some private doing are a good director with a lot of talent especially funding. I think if we find an area that is valuable to our interest we try to keep it within our cells were afraid to tell anybody cuz we're afraid they'll steal it from us. I think if we find that if we share some of these interests it won't hurt any of us and it'll probably make us all better organizations. I think one of the big dangers that we are going to run into because of this boom were involved in now is a multiplicity multiplicity of theaters. I'm very active in theater right now. The Minnesota Association of community Theatre's has about 40 theaters and I get about two or three requests every week from new groups wanting to Forum theaters and I feel that we are almost getting to the saturation point if we haven't already reached that point where many of these theaters are number one dying because of lack of funding lack of facilities, or I think the most critical problem of all lack of quality. I think it's alright to put on a program within your church organization or School Organization don't charge admission and have a good time read scripts forget lines, but when you're charging for 4:50 $5 for person to answer your theater. I think you're obligated to give him a quality production and I think by diluting the talents in this area and every five or six people wanting to form a new theater. I think we're creating a problem here which may eventually reflect on his fine talent that we have in this area. I'm an attorney and I have a habit of talking too long. I'll just summarize what I said and looking towards the future of the Arts in this area. Number one. I think we should definitely have more what I would call cross fraternization between Arts organizations. Let's present dance recitals in our theaters that's have art shows in our lobbies. Let's work together instead of staying within our own little shell. That's all definitely work towards getting more adequate funding. There's no reason in the world why we should be I hate to use the word Ransom, but I ran some organization to the construction of a of a major sports arena. I think we can stand on her own two feet and I think we definitely have to approach the legislature this year and see that funding becomes a minor problem rather than one of our Your problems and third I think we should always strive for quality in our Productions never lose interest in that. Thank you. Thank you, Britney Don angle. I'm one of the people that have Paul doctor sex by having written out some things. I like to say to you. It's not because I don't prefer to wing it than usually that's the way I do but it's one Assurance of discipline that I'll stay within the time limit that we're giving and that we can be sure of getting on with the program. It really is an unusual opportunity to share with you tonight some aspects of the Arts of our choosing since the invitation from Karen said you can talk about whatever you wish within the guidelines of that Sam indicated and while I could talk about music which I think is a definite minority among all of you theater people here and visual artist. I leave that to Dentistry honey with our concert Charlie came in and his broadcast on Jazz and so on it seems inevitable that we talked about money when we got together here that seems to be one of the the measurements of the intangibles of the art we can Really measure what the art experience is in a way that some of the people we like to have understand could understand. So we resort to a numbers game and talk about audiences or we talked about quantity or we talked about $5 or something like that, which really is the kind of stand in for that indefinite something that attracts is to the Arts. So I'm going to talk about some brief briefly about an experience in the National scene because I assumed that my colleagues here would probably direct their comments more to our local and state affairs. I'd like to tell you in a few moments at my disposal here have some national efforts to increase increase public support for Arts organizations and for artists through the National Endowment for the Arts. Now if the National Endowment is not a household word to some of you hit perhaps is reasonable to explain that it's a federal agency a grant-making agency with money for arts and for artists and for Arts organizations. It happens at over some. Of years I served on the music, both as a member and chairman the group that helps the National Endowment decide on the grants that it will make in the field of music and I have a Peculiar Arrangement as a consultant now for members of the staff. They don't ask me to come sell anything with him. But anyhow, I I got a piece of paper once a year that I'm supposed to sign that says I'ma Consulting. Well, it also happens that I'm chairman of what is called the National Committee for Symphony Orchestra support which is composed of several presidents and managers of symphony orchestras throughout the country and our purpose is to enlist the nation symphony orchestras in persuading the Congress to increase its funding for the National Endowment and in turn to increase the endowment staff to give more money to orchestras. At the other words is a lobbying job. I'm told by the the lawyer that represents our committee and Washington that we shouldn't use the word lobbying. Apparently that's frowned upon in some circles. But if we call it legislative education legislative activity legislative persuasion, or some other euphemism like that. You know, what I'm talking about. Our organization is what's called a 501 C 4 organization those of you that know about all this IRS terminology might realize that that is a tax exempt organization that is permitted to Lobby without restrictions, which all of us non-profit organizations have to face another words. The Minnesota Orchestra are the orchestral Association can only do any lobbying for the state legislature or the federal Congress on a very limited basis, but our committee It's not restricted because we're organized under a different plant. Well, what does such a committee doing? What benefit is that to those of us here? One of the the benefits of the National Endowment is not only the grants to Major organizations and some here in the Twin Cities receive funds directly from the endowment but also to the state Arts council's now those of you who are affiliated with some of our smaller organizations do receive federal dollars through the state Arts board because every Arts Council and the country receives an equal amount of money from the National Endowment each year by Statute. In other words, the endowment has to appropriate 20% of its federal dollars received two State Arts Council. So some of that filters in to the state here in addition to our own legislative dollars from the state of Minnesota. One of the smart things are committee did was to find an executive director named Gretchen Ralph who was at 1 time president of the Syracuse Symphony and who was the prime mover in the state of New York in the citizens movement that resulted in that fantastic appropriation to the state Arts Council in New York of 34 millions of dollars a couple of years ago. That's a song that boggles the imagination here. When our state Arts Council is rather well below the $1000000 level from our state sources. Well do and how does it relate to what's going on here? As a lobbying group, one of our functions is to line up people in the communities where we have symphony orchestras and there are something like 1,400 symphony orchestras in this country that are identified as formal structures all that. They're not all professional ones so that when the Congressional subcommittees that have to do with Appropriations for the endowment our meeting we have representatives from the areas in which those Representatives come we have Symphony Orchestra people who can contact the members of those subcommittees and get them to vote right as far as dollars for the Arts are concerned straight Lobby one of the things right now that our committee is concerned with and mrs. Ralph is involved in is getting the presidential and vice-presidential candidates to Define their positions on the Arts. And as they are out on the campaign Trail, we've had Symphony patrons board members women's committee members and the audiences for these candidates raising the questions publicly. What is your position on funding for the Arts? Would you support an appropriation of 137 million dollars for the National Endowment, which the Congress has authorized at private parties. We've also had people there who are raising the question to our candidates on the campaign Trail. What is your position on the Arts one out? Maybe this seems like a a small issue when we have so many other big things that are occupying their attention. Unfortunately, we're not hearing the debate tonight to know how big the the attention is between the two major candidates. But anyhow, after a while they get the message that there are people in the country that are interested in the Arts and that's a significant thing. I've been in Washington on various occasions to testify on behalf of the endowment before some of the subcommittee's that are considering endowment procreation and the chairman of these committees have said to us either rather obliquely are very directly. Look you folks who come here asking for money for the Arts really don't have your act together. You haven't find what you need and why you haven't given us enough hardback so that we can go to the full Congress or the full Senate and be a spokesman in your behalf. We have a lot of work to do my friends in creating an insurance in the eyes of our national legislators as well. As our state representatives that there in fact is a constituent of people who are interested in the Arts in this country and to see that they are a significant part of the social fabric of our nation. This is the function of this particular committee, which however it may be directed toward concern for Symphony. Orchestra is attempting to do something on behalf of all Arts organizations an artist by calling attention to the fact that there are many many people a very substantial part of our population who are significantly and directly involved with the arch. We're all representatives of that constituency right here tonight, or we wouldn't be here. Well, this is related to what goes on here in the state in various ways and I have just a second or two to call this to your attention so that there seems to be some relative reason for commenting about this National effort here. We have found that one of the first steps toward getting funding for the Arts on the national scale is to get the president to include a recommendation in his budget message to the Congress if he does so then the Congress can follow in recommending or at least considering an appropriation up to the level. The president has set we have exactly the same here with Governor Anderson, when he puts together his budget message, whatever he says in that about the Arts will be a kind of a guideline for our state legislature when it meets later and when has been indicated if we're not tied to a stadium we will have a chance to make a statement on our own for arch support in the state. We found that the the large supportive grass-root organizations on the Arts Alliance here could be one is essential to convince legislators that there are people really interested. I remember one of the testimonies we were talking about the amount of money needed by the Arts and one of the the congressman said, well, you know, when we have the Pentagon guys up here, we asked him to round up the numbers to the nearest 5 million dollars and I thought going to sex $5000000 of rounding up would take care of all the Arts organizations in the state of Minnesota and still have a little bit left over. So that's the magnitude of the the mentality we're dealing with when we were talking on the national level kind of a fascinating experience. Well the message to you and this is that we are really at Ground Zero in the whole effort of attempting to get public support for the things that we believe in. Yesterday I I heard somebody say to a bunch of us Arts administrators. This is a new ball game for you folks, and I thought isn't it interesting that the euphemism of a ball game relies on the sports instead of somebody saying, this is a new player. This is a new show her. This is a new concert that you folks are in this dealing with public agency. Well, whatever it is, we're all going to need your support, and we're all going to need it together. So we'll be calling on you knocking on the door about the time the legislator gets the legislature gets together again, and hopefully as I said will be there with the state statement of our own and we won't need the Sparks to help us this time. Thank you. Thank you, dear, Huffington. Half of this is the paper. I picked up tonight Sam. I'd like to go from the national back to the local but starting from the same point statistics from the United States Office of Education. This fall show that enrollments in arts classes Across the Nation have gone up over last year. There's certainly a strong place for the Arts or so. It would seem at the same time. We're all very much aware that the local school population is decreasing budgets are being cut and arts programs are in danger of getting the axe. Because of this it becomes very important for those of us concerned with the Arts to provide strong support in the schools to emphasize their value as an important academic discipline and the regular curriculum as well as one of those fringe benefits that happens after school. Sometimes if the English teacher doesn't have too many themes. It's also important to help children understand and appreciate the culture that they live in that we all live in we need to be very vocal about this I think and it means as done has said everybody who has a chance to say something taking that opportunity. We need to recognize an addition the good programs that exist now because some of those aren't getting the kinds of support that we all want for them Urban arts. For example, young audiences artist-in-residence. And we need to look for ways that Community Arts organizations can offer their resources to the schools with the idea. Of course, if there's some mutual benefit coming both ways the Minneapolis Civic Orchestra Has been having a rough time finding an adequate rehearsal and performance space. So they're not talking with the school district about the possibility of having rehearsals and performances in return for some for providing some special programs to that school Community Theater in Cedar Rapids, Iowa has done the same thing. But taking it just a little bit further School District even in this case agreed to provide accounting services health insurance and some other special fringe benefits. That's quite a plus in anybody's budget. With thought and planning much could certainly be done by each one of us and facing the particular problems that we have and putting this kind of Cooperative sharing and vocal support together. It would bring the Arts to a broader segment of our own population and would probably help us to have a better living as well. We have to be concerned to I think with public relations. Getting the word out to the general public without this broad support individual artists can't thrive in. Our area is everyone is pointed outs out the the Arts activity has mushroomed I'm impressed looking at the newspaper with the numbers of things that I can't possibly see each week. That's pretty good. But there's a corollary side to that more Craftsman and artist are displaying and selling their work at art fairs. More Community Theaters are hunting for an audience more experimental theaters are dying for lack of audiences putting their their lives on the line and working without pay and scrounging Facilities. Just food to put on the table competition is increased and the result is that sometimes the buyers prefer that which is easy that which is most accessible and the case of craftspeople that which is cheap rather than perhaps good. Maybe this means that artists of all kinds are going to have to take more time off from creative activities and learn some techniques and dealing with Buyers with Street Fair entrepreneurs Club managers and the public in order to promote themselves and their Artistry the certainly could be viewed as an obstacle and perhaps a very distasteful exercise, but it should be seen as an opportunity the opening up of avenues of communication between artists and their public can me and easier and less threatening access to the arts for the public. I was amazed to discover that there are people who are scared to go to the Guthrie. But it's true. It exists for everyone and I'm sure that you sometimes find that at the orchestra. Therefore we could create at least help to create a more hospitable atmosphere for artists and the public. But how can one individual artists or crass person or a theater person or musician do this? It isn't practical or possible. So as Donna suggested this is a very happy kind of thing occurring right here in the Twin Cities out of a former attitude of of much competition and very little cooperation artists and craftspeople arts teachers and unprofessional actors musicians are not be going to organize and share more and more in my immediate experience. At least this meeting is obvious testimony to the fact that it's happening and I don't know why it took us so long James C. Petrillo showed us all a long time ago what it means when we really got our act together. Somebody's feel however that an organization will stifle creativity but others have been won over to the idea that the benefits are shared experience and ideas and the feelings of support from fellow artists are really a good thing to have seems to me that out of this kind of cooperation can come a very real Forward Motion in the yards that can take us over this sort of stasis at the peak. We seem to feel we might be reaching and carry forward on a very practical and long-term basis the kind of momentum we have up here in the North Country the formation of the Minneapolis Arts commission and the state Arts board is a very exciting thing. I'm hopeful we'll see some concrete progress next year in a variety of areas. For example, the development of clear realistic guidelines for artists in the schools. So the both the artist in the school can expect something quite reasonable and have a much more satisfactory experience out of it. The visual artists can be given the kinds of help. They desperately need to deal with those street fairs and the buyers, but it doesn't have to stop with these specifics there many more problems that we have to deal with many solutions to be found many ideas shared as cooperation for quality and standards in the Arts provides us with the opportunity to develop a public-spirited Arts Community. Thanks. That was Dale Huffington director of continuing education in the Arts at the University of Minnesota. He concludes the presentations by members of the Arts Community now words from an Arts Observer Bob lundegaard of the Minneapolis Tribune. I'm a little different from Dale when he looks at the newspaper. He's impressed with all the things he isn't able to see that week. I'm impressed with all the things we couldn't print that week because from my standpoint the Arts Community has really said of a sea of raised hands everybody saying me please. Please notice me give me a a little attention and it's certainly very understandable as far as this subject tonight. I think I'll I'll cut back my time a little bit to get us back to our average of 7 minutes before we all turn into pumpkins. I feel a little like someone who is writing a letter to someone who hasn't seen for twenty years. He really hardly knows where to begin. But I have the best way to do it is to share with you a couple of experiences. I had the last few nights which I think lead to a generalization. One of them was attending my high school son's open house last night the first class that we sat in was his English class and the teacher announced that the first thing you'd had the students do on. The first day of class was to sit down and write a poem without any Indication of what they were to say. It's certainly an exciting and an energetic concepts of the Arts. But as far as I know what what resulted were Thirty terrible poems and I'm not really too clear on what did Rizal except that the teacher appeared terribly interested terribly concerned and terribly energetic and I was reminded of that because I had lunch today with some people who are about to start a new Weekly newspaper in Minneapolis, one of many still one more that have been tried and this one looks kind of interesting in the theme that they're selling. The advertisers is that Minneapolis is more exciting than its journalism. Which naturally hits home a little bit. That's all right. I agree. You said the Thief River Falls is more exciting than Minneapolis journalism. But I begin by saying that Minneapolis is a city of political energy and cultural sophistication and I suggested to them with some agreement on their part that perhaps they had the adjectives wrong. They are political energy is fantastic. Especially the way we seem to send people on from local government into the national government, but that our culture is really more energetic than sophisticated. And certainly I feel that way from the the areas that I have something to do with in terms of reviewing which really have been touchdown denied namely films and television. Films, I think a good example is that at long last I think about a year after New York saw ingmar bergman's face-to-face Minneapolis The Citadel of Scandinavian culture is at long last going to be allowed to see this movie. Would you all been reading about in National magazines for a year and if we're really as sophisticated as a lot of people think we are I'm just not clear why we shouldn't be seeing movies like this on a regular basis and seeing them as soon as New York and Los Angeles and Chicago in Washington and Boston season. And as far as television that goes obviously our national television is pretty much what I mean. The television that we got in the Network's is pretty much what the only other cities gun are public television. I stink especially considering the resources of our artistic Community, which have been touched on here tonight are a disgrace and I think at long last perhaps that is going to turn around I hope so if everybody hasn't completely turned off by the the severance settlement with doctor schwarzwalder. but I would just like to suggest that on the basis of the two areas that I'm most familiar with the movies and the public television that I don't think we have a right to be too smug. I think we really do have a long way to go. Thank you very much. That was Bob lundegaard Arts editor of the Minneapolis Tribune following the formal part of the program. I spoke with Bernie singer president of the Minnesota Association of community Theatre's singer fears that this area may be saturated with local theater. Well firstly I feel that there is only a certain car of actors to go around and as you increase the amount of theaters your diluting the amount of quality actors that are available for any given theater. So ultimately you're going to end up with with with less than good quality Productions. Secondly, there is a certain maximum audience that will attend legitimate theater in the Twin Cities and the Moore Theatres. We add the smaller the audiences I do it amongst all of them. I might I might add that. The increase in theaters is seems to be more in the out lying areas and Suburban areas and then the smaller cities around the state in that instance is healthy. Because Aaron presently enough theaters operating in those areas now right? There aren't any in most areas that are starting up. Do you sense that the public is inundated with these the theaters are seeing him spring up and all kinds of Productions when they open up their entertainment pages of the newspapers in the community papers and that the they might be growing weary of it or not knowing how to make selections and consequently turning off to the Community Theater. Is it having this adverse effect yet? I don't feel that they've actually turned on 100% I feel theater going public in the cities are still accustomed to going to the Guthrie. And the old log in Chanhassen and any theater Beyond those three is a giant step. I was talking to a high school Drama teacher from a small city right outside the city's who brings classes in to theater and he says we always bring them to the Guthrie or Chanhassen and I said, why don't you bring them to a community theater production? He says well, we're afraid I think that answers in the nutshell. They're free to take that giant step. There's excellent Community Theater and somehow we have to get the message to the public that exist exist within blocks of their homes, and they're unaware of it. How does your office go about spreading the message of community theater? Well, we we primarily Do What I Call missionary work we form theater-going Parties number one and I have special nights at Community Theaters and try to bring friends of ours who have never been in a community theater or particular Community Theater to these theaters. We also put on a newsletter once every two months with review stories about what's going on at the other theaters, and then we encourage our local newspaper and television radio people to try to spread the word about some of the smaller theaters that are putting on some quality Productions also touched another interesting point and that is a part of this should generate some of the excitement for each other should be supporting each other's works on attending each other's plays how important is this to generating Community enthusiasm within the Arts community and and outside of it. Well, I think it's only important in that every artist has a circle of friends. And if he stays at one given theater his circle of friends are going to stay close to him if he encouraged if he goes to other theaters encourages his friends to go to other theaters. We are going to get this cross for fraternization that I was referring to earlier. Are we too smug about our theater here? You've been to other parts of the country and observed other theater, is it as healthy and is vibrant and as Innovative as sometimes we read about it in our own newspapers and in some cases in National magazines that compliment the area it's healthy and it's vibrant. I don't think we're smug yet. But I think we're approaching that danger Point. That's what I'm afraid of last summer. I was in California with a theater group at the ATA convention and we went to the old Globe Theater in San Fran in San Diego, which is the leading Shakespearean theater on the west coast half of our theater group compose a very Theater now evolved person from the city's walked out at intermission because the quality was so poor. We went to five Community Theaters between San Diego and Los Angeles and there wasn't one production at even approached the car. Twin Cities theaters Journey singer president of the Minnesota Association of community Theatre's I spoke with singer at the annual meeting of the Twin Cities Metropolitan Arts Alliance in Minneapolis. I'm the real Saint Anthony.


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