For once in a long while, I actually have the time and capacity to sit and construct a post that's not about short-term events, like an upcoming show, artist's reception, or monthly meeting, but about the long-term viability of arts and culture in the region. And, judging from what's going on right now, there's plenty to talk about.
One day (last Wednesday) I'm reading an article in the LV Sun about the shuttering of the Ritz-Carlton (YES! THE RITZ-CARLTON!) at Montelago Village. The Ritz-Carlton doesn't close. That's like the mailman not delivering or the Sun not rising. It simply doesn't happen. Yet, apparently, it does.
The very next day, however, I'm reading about the construction of The Smith Center at Symphony Park—a $245 million construction project currently underway (I've seen the backhoes and cranes with my own eyes) slated for completion by the end of 2011 and open to the public by spring 2012.
One (the tragedy) is situated miles from The Strip, near one of two lakes which may very well go the way of the R-C if our reclamation efforts continue to come up...uh...dry. The other (the love story) takes place a little to the north of Vegas proper but smack dab in the middle of the ongoing redevelopment and imminent revitalization. Alas, there is hope, for some of us, for many of us, for all of us.
So I'm forced to remind myself (and all of you), for every glimpse of despair, there is a flicker of hope. For every cry of disappointment, there is a shout of encouragement. For every admission of defeat, there is a harbinger of victory.
There was a time when I may have thought twice about mentioning the revitalization of one city (Las Vegas) in the same breath as that of another (Henderson), for fear of upsetting those who may support and participate in the art circles of one, versus the other. Well, those days are gone, as are the days of artists expecting to be wildly successful operating on their own. Don't get me wrong. It can happen. But it's harder, it will take longer, and the tales of prosperity beyond our wildest dreams will remain few and far between. The only way for the revitalization of any or all of our communities to actually succeed is for the communities themselves and the artists within them to come together.
The change that we seek will not come if we're not optimistic. It also will not come if we're not active and proactive. Follow us here on the HAA blog or on our FB fan page ( Facebook | Henderson Art Association ). Let us know what's going on in the arts communities, near and far. Share the links with your friends and get people to join or volunteer their time. Whatever you do, don't remain complacent or huddled up in your studio waiting for things to change on their own or at the hands of a few others, 'cause that's never gonna happen.
Take a look at some of these links that show the ongoing and future promise of a vibrant art and culture community: