Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Local Starry Nights

This link (just click on the red text) takes you to an article about the recent "50 mile dinner" at Verdi restaurant in Bowling Green. I really meant to go down for this event but my schedule did not allow it. This makes me think of a few things. First of all, it is an outstanding idea and probably something that should be on our list of goals for 2009 to mimic it with one of our local restaurants.

At the same time, take a few minutes to review the "magazine" that the article appears in. There are other notable articles in it as well as the fact that there are active and creative folks in Bowling Green willing to create this magazine. I wonder how we can foster this sort of creativity in Glasgow. How do we encourage talented local folks to quit hiding their light under a bushel? How do we "Keep Glasgow Weird," by exposing local talent. I am betting we have it!

One of the stories that struck me in this magazine is this one, about a really wonderful sounding music event under the stars, The Starry Night Music Festival. That just made me think of a tremendous community asset that we already have, one with a constant starry night guaranteed -- The Plaza Theater.

I know this post moves our conversation away from local food, but it is certainly still well founded in localism. I think we need to be using The Plaza much, much more than we do. The article talks about the music event and indicates that at least one of the participating bands was
The Lost River Cavemen, from Glasgow according to the article. I wonder why we could not have something like this monthly (perhaps even weekly). I envision this regular event to be part open-microphone night, part Grand Old Opry, and part Woodstock. I say we use this community-owned asset to encourage local artists to perform and give us all a local option for entertainment. I suggest we step up and put the funds in our next municipal budget to pay theater staff to be there and facilitate this monthly event such that the performers only have to donate their talent, not their money too. The Plaza should be treated as municipal infrastructure, no different from parks, sidewalks, and City Hall. We should be encouraging its use, not trying to make it cash flow by charging locals to use it.

The article talks glowingly about Bowling Green's annual Starry Night Music Festival. Let's start a tradition in Glasgow of monthly music events under our own starry night!


Anonymous said...

Speaking as a local musician I know that most bands in the Glasgow area would be very excited to play at the Plaza. It is not every day that we get a chance to play in such a nice venue. The problem in the past was the ridiculous costs involved in renting The Plaza such as an outrageous insurance clause that was in the contract to be able to play there. Here’s an idea I had. I’ve been to about 4-5 shows at The Kentucky Center in Louisville and I’ve always noticed that they have a huge staff. One night at a Buddy Guy show I got to talking to one of the ushers about the show and the theater. To make a long story short she informed me that all of the ushers were volunteers. They volunteered to work and in turn they got to see the show for free. I’m not saying only use volunteers but at least try to do half volunteers and maybe half employees that The Plaza would hire, that would help offset the costs and you would get local musicians like myself that would probably be there to see the show anyway to actually help work it. I’d be glad to get involved in this in anyway that I could because it is something that is near and dear to me and I’d love to see our local talent have a place to play that is close to home instead of having to play in Bowling Green all of the time.

Wade England

wtravis said...

My son is a budding musician who laments the lack of a local "music scene" and the lack of a venue for area musicians to play.
One need only attend area "festivals" to see that there is a wealth of musical talent in Barren and surrounding counties.
I agree with the idea of making the Plaza a true community resource and "utility" for the stimulation of creativity and enhancement of local entertainment and local culture.