Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Where's David Hoppe?

Yes, well, I don't really even know if it's "Hoppy" or "Ho-pay," but wouldn't it be nice to hear from him every now and again on this blog?

He's raising all sorts of interesting questions over there at NUVO, and this despite NUVO being trashy in a cheap way, he still writes in it every week. Check out the colum from this week on the art climate of Indy. NUVO Link

What to do in a city that does not have any great graduate programs in theatre, creative writing, or visual arts? What to do, what to do?

What to do in a state that could care less about the 'arts?' Compare, for example, Indiana to Ohio, which has significant museums and schools in Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo, and Cincinnati.

But please, take on Hoppe's point:

"The city could be about to find itself on the horns of a dilemma. It has set a dandy stage for a cultural renaissance. But it’s not enough just to have the spaces; you have to fill them with the kind of challenging works that command attention in the larger world."

Of course, there are some things to consider here. First of all, doesn't renaissance mean a second birth? When was the first birth of culture here? But I shouldn't digress.

The city of Indianapolis clearly wants to be something more than it has been in the past, and a good part of that is tied into "culture." Go search, for example on indygov.org the words "world class" and you will see all the ways that Indy is trying to be "world class." Check out in particular this link.

Who knows what "world class" means, anyway. The Bloomington based and Indy broadcasting radio station, 92.3 plays "world class rock." This, apperantly, means Phil Collins and Natelie Merchant.

What are the reasonable goals for Indy? An art museum that gets more than 125k in attendance each year and draws people from the region? Theatrical productions that draw from all over the state?

How about actual tourists here? Tourists here that come to just check out the city, camera and pocketbook in hand, or hands as the case may be? How about lots of galleries in the city that represent artists from around the state and country instead of just Indy?

5 Responses to “Where's David Hoppe?”

Liriodendron said...
June 14, 2006 at 7:51 AM

Just casual thoughts....who really knows...
1. It's more fun to make art than to veiw it.
2. We have the world at our fingertips now(thru technology)...nobody needs to go out and do stuff anymore. The world moves so fast now....everybody has had to personally slow down in order to keep any sense of well being intact.
3. There are so many little places to go see and read things on the internet...people use up their "let's see what others are doing" attention span while still at home, and don't even bother leaving the house anymore.
4. It's the economy stupid. ;)
5. "World Class" is just a bull shit term that means nothing other than the people using it think they are better than ....something?
6.Too much cheesecake too soon...

Christopher said...
June 14, 2006 at 11:48 AM

I read David's article last week and his assessment seemed pretty spot on. I find it a little ironic that as many people bitch about poor attendance at traditional gallery shows and theatre productions as there are people that bitch about events like Art vs. Art that draw a big crowd. Go ahead, have your cake and eat it too.

Anonymous said...
June 16, 2006 at 7:35 AM

Tourist dollars or even their attendance is not something that will register on any meter labeled "arts" in Indy. Indianapolis is not a cultural destination, however we ARE a racing and/or sports destination.

Because we are sitting in the corn/bible belt, there is next to zero education (unless you factor in universities) happening about the arts and, in fact, there is less now than there was 10 years ago. Check any local middle or high school extra-curricular budgets and you will see that if something had to be cut, it was probably the arts that got whacked first. Some high schools have REMOVED their arts programs entirely. Yet these same schools have built bigger stadiums for their sporting events and are making sure that little Johnnie has contact with a soccer ball as soon as he can run. Ask your average Indiana high school student if they know who Paul Klee or Martha Graham is and you're likely to get a blank stare while they sip on a slurpee and try to see around you to watch American Idol.

Until we foster an environment that includes the arts at an early age and continues it thru young adulthood, there will continue to be unchecked apathy toward the arts in this state.

If polled, you would probably find that your average adult Hoosier would rather have 500 race and/or Pacer tickets than own an original piece of art or see a play. It's not necessarily a problem unless your an artist. The only real problem is the ratio of artists to supporters. It's like putting an arts education program in rural China and then expecting uneducated peasants to rush out to the openings and purchase the resulting tickets or art. There is neither the appreciation or the spare cash to do so.

It's happening here but slowly. Wake me in about 20 years or so when we catch up to Ohio.

carla said...
June 16, 2006 at 9:42 AM This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

carla said...
June 16, 2006 at 9:46 AM This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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