Saturday, July 19, 2008
Why Mayor Cedric B Glover attended opening night of River City Repertory Theater's Member of the Wedding
Glover is also an arts appreciator; I have seen him at numerous events at Artspace, for example.
The importance of his attendance at opening night is in the example he is establishing for the public and other community leaders.
I remember when Caddo Schools superintendent Ollie Tyler attended opening night of the symphony season. It was a good night for Caddo parents, students and musicians. She knew the power that lies in setting an example.
Frankly, Shreveport could use more such example-setting by community leaders.
I think if someone from the mayor's office and / or the city council attended opening nights on a regular basis that we'd all be well served. The arts is an industry, after all.
I wish I could say that an example in arts attendance is being set by a large number of business leaders, area college profs and local teachers.
One gigantic example of arts-minded leadership that is being dropped by the powers that be is the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra. Symphony musicians have signed contracts in which they've lost 75% of their pay, says Chan Teague. The SSO board has reached its limit in regards fund-raising and ambition.
The orchestra is a symbol of regional cultural health as well as a business entity. Why haven't more civic leaders made a public push to rebuild the SSO's finances and enhance its place as a regional cultural force?
Tickets to arts events aren't cheap. Nor is a supper at a chic restaurant.
I feel that too many local leaders are content to sup in a bistro rather than to dine on the ideas and brain-awakening experiences available from arts events.
Last week the mayor gave civic leaders permission to realign priorities
in their choices in entertainment - by his example. You know, it's a healthy choice.