This blog isn’t for everyone.
This blog, actually, is really only for 20 people.
So, this is for you Jim Barnes, Jane Bryant, Bill Burke, Mary Jo Clore, Renie Cooney, Alan Gibson, Steve Glass, Don Hawkins, David Lusby, Kelly McEuen, Larry Prather, Steve Price, Dick Robinson, Mark Showalter, Mark Singer, Jay Stricker, Connie Tackett, Marvin Thompson, Chad Wallace and Aaron Wilson.
As candidates for the Georgetown City Council, you have chosen to position yourself as leaders of this community, at least for the next two years, if not longer.
It’s time to start acting like it.
I understand that there are issues facing this city that you might consider more pressing than your support of arts and culture. There’s only a finite amount of money in which the city can spend (and that number appears ever-dwindling), so you must look closely at each item that appears before you to best determine if our tax dollars are being spent in a responsible manner.
The problem is, I’m not sure how many of you are actually taking a closer look at all areas. Oh, you’ll show up at Scott County basketball games or the Festival of the Horse or the Fourth of July fireworks extravaganza, but when’s the last time you watched a performance by Georgetown Community Theatre? How many of you have ever attended an art show hosted by ArtWorks, or, for that matter, anything sponsored by ArtWorks?
Granted, there aren’t as many babies to kiss or hands to shake at an art exhibit or a musical or a challenging play, but before you decide to reduce the funding for a much-needed program, it might be in everyone’s best interest for you to actually attend one. Maybe then you’ll see the clear need to fully support a thriving arts community in Georgetown. At the very least, you’ll be entertained, maybe to the point that you’ll become a fan and want to attend another performance in the future.
Some of you, no doubt, don’t support the Georgetown art scene because you don’t “get” it. I understand that feeling. I bad-mouthed plays, particularly musicals, for years before one show by GCT made me do a 180, and here I am writing columns for them. All it took was actually shutting my mouth and opening my eyes.
You need to know that it’s OK that you don’t “get” all art, or even any art. I’d wager that most of you can’t hit a free throw to save your life, but you still root for your beloved Scott County Cardinals.
And why’s that?
Because you support these kids, this community, our future.
It’s time to extend that courtesy, that support, to other aspects of life.
I challenge each of you to come to Peter Pan, performed by Stage Left, a group of kids responsible for almost every aspect of the production. Tickets remain for the shows, May15-18 at John L. Hill Chapel. Visit http://www.georgetowncommunitytheatre.org to purchase tickets. (And in the event the shows sell out, which they’re dangerously close to doing, either find a good ticket broker or make plans to attend The Wizard of Oz this summer. Oh, and shame on you for waiting so long to get tickets).
What you will see is the future of Georgetown, the little boys and girls who will soon grow up to become our next round of leaders. Much like the life lessons learned on the basketball court, football field or baseball diamond help shape kids into adults, participation in the arts also turn young people into well-rounded men and women. Talk to a few of them after the show, and their sheer enthusiasm should help you see the right thing to do when deciding to fund the arts rather than cut the budget. It’s OK to kiss some babies to secure votes; just don’t throw them out with the bathwater.
I’m afraid, however, that few, if any, of you will actually attend. Sometimes you can’t teach old dogs new tricks, I guess, and you’re probably afraid that if you watch a play and see something you like, you might actually have to start giving more attention to future performances. It’s too bad that the collective council candidates’ train of thought seems to be the antithesis of Barack Obama’s powerful “Yes we can” motto. In Georgetown, it’s far too often “No we won’t.”
Maybe I expect too much from each of you. Unfortunately, as our elected leaders, I have a pretty high bar, and I’m not certain who comes close to reaching that exalted level.
I guess this is your chance to prove me wrong.
So, to the 20 people this blog was for, if you really think these words are just for you, you’re sadly mistaken.
It’s actually for 19,000 people.
That’s the number of registered voters in Georgetown.
Candidates, I hope you were paying attention.