I don’t really do opinions on my blog. Perhaps not doing so is a symptom of my excessive optimism or my cowardice.
Supporting what is local depends so much on communication. Anyway that you can alleviate the fear of “What if I don’t like it?” “What if I don’t fit in?” “What if I’m too young/old/cool/boring?” counts massively towards getting people involved.
Explain your passions to people, resist the temptation most of us feel at some level to conform; find your path of best fit. However you do this, it is central to what makes us a community.
What follows is part of a conversation I had about local performance in an another place, another arena of local, defending it’s desire for self expression. I’d been talking about a (brief) spell of my own cynicism. The reply that came back is something I’ll treasure at many levels and refer back to.
“In some ways, San Francisco is just a giant version of Chester… we’re better known for wine and drinking and drugs and casual sex than we are for actual culture.
And there has been a very strong movement here to restore us as an arts mecca but it’s hard, because America in general has a hard relationship with the arts and understanding their importance (and why they should be paid for and supported) and San Francisco in specific cultivates a culture that thumbs its nose at anything that isn’t young, hip, consumable and decadent.
But it comes down to this: wherever you are, whatever the local climate, when you try to change that you’re going to be fighting an uphill battle, you’re going to be swimming against the tide.
Which is exhausting. Rewarding too, but mostly exhausting.
But if you don’t do it, who will? And it has to be done, doesn’t it?”
So I’ll give thanks to Stuart Bousel of San Francisco Theater Pub and SF Pint Sized for allowing me to quote him and for this resonance between local places so very (geographically) distant.