What Does the Future Hold for Stagecraft Arts in Central Oregon

first_img (Photo above: Ray Solley)It’s been said there’s “something for everyone” in Central Oregon. While that adage is true for outdoor activities, it’s especially spot-on when it comes to the area’s performing arts landscape. Like a diverse and long menu at a local eatery, there are plenty of organizations that can satisfy your appetite for singing, dancing, acting, comedy, and drama. Just page through any issue of Cascade A&E. Or this special edition of Cascade Business News. You’ll find plenty of quantity and quality.But what’s fueling this growth spurt in performing creativity? And what does the future hold for stagecraft arts in Central Oregon?It would be tempting to point to the improving, post-recession numbers and say “It’s the economy, stupid.” Folks have a bit more discretionary income to spend on entertainment now. But that still casts the reason as a relatively small blip on the region’s radar screen.The larger source of our resurging performing arts scene is two-fold:1. Theatres and producers have successfully found, and sustained, identifiable nichesLooking for a variety of tried-and-true plays? Try Cascades Theatrical Company. Want something edgy? Check out 2nd Street Theater and Volcanic Theater Pub. Shore Thing Productions delivers the “sure thing” when it comes to musical theatre. The brands for OperaBend and Thoroughly Modern Productions are right in their names. And, the Tower’s Marquee Series showcases the best of our community’s theatre at multiple sold-out performances in the region’s premier venue.2. Folks don’t abandon culture when they move hereMoving to Central Oregon from a big city doesn’t mean leaving all your cravings for culture at the Beaver-state border. In fact, we see an increasing number of residents actively seeking out the same kinds of theatres, concerts, exhibits, and galleries they frequented and supported in their former home city. That means more knowledgeable patrons with more discriminating tastes.But what of the future?To be frank, fundraising for performing arts nonprofits will always be challenging. We can never argue that a good play clothes the needy or saves a life. But we can proudly assert that a live performance often speaks to the heart, mind and soul in ways that make that life worth living.Performers and producers are providing more and more opportunities for Central Oregonians to connect with life-affirming theatrical creations. One-third of applications for the new Bend Cultural Tourism Fund are intended for performing arts activities. The Arts and Culture Alliance of Central Oregon entered 2015 with nearly half its members practicing the performing arts. And the Tower, along with fellow and sister organizations, will ink deals to deepen and expand our programming in 2016 and beyond.For performing arts to take even deeper root in the volcanic soil of the high desert, more people must attend. And when that happens, subsequent essays on the state of the region’s performing arts can rightly boast we have “everyone for something.”Ray Solley if executive director of the Tower Theatre Foundation. Pinterest Share. on February 19, 2015 What Does the Future Hold for Stagecraft Arts in Central Oregon? 0 Email Twittercenter_img LinkedIn Google+ E-Headlines Facebook Tumblr By Ray Solley of Tower Theatre Foundationlast_img read more

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