The Celebration of the Arts was lovely this year. A room packed with vendors from all over sharing all sorts of artistic wares from paintings to glass buttons and three-dimensional artwork that made you feel like you walked into a sci-fi movie. Cheryl Rousch, local artist and denizen of Artizen (Midland’s artistic coop) was this years’ Distinguished Artist and put on a fabulous display of her wonderful portraits, still life’s, and scenery. There was something for everyone and then some!
However, the show has shrunk over the past years. When I was young the vendors filled both the Midland Center and the Centennial Plaza right outside, there were crafts and activities for adults and children alike and the show ran from Friday through Sunday. This year there were only indoor vendors with perhaps one or two booths outdoors and a few inflatable activities for children, and the event only ran from a Friday night preview party through Saturday evening.
The arts culture in Midland has been dwindling over the years and I very often hear newcomers to the town remark on the sad lack of it. So, why aren’t they and we doing something about it? Midland has a ballet company, a symphony orchestra and a community theatre. Look them up and patronize them! So many non-locals don’t even know they exist and for some reason it seems like it doesn’t occur to them to check. Those of us who do know need to make more of an effort to support these organizations and help them grow. Spread the word and attract more attendance for them.
We need to start bringing more festivals and events to our town. For years we have had Celebration of the Arts in spring and Septemberfest every fall. What’s to stop us from bringing more? Last October an organization brought the first annual Wine and Music Festival and it was fantastic! Let’s bring that back again along with a few new ones.
The arts do not extend solely to visual art. We have multiple music festivals and concert series around town as well, why not add a film festival too, or a cook-off? We are big enough to carry it off, and everyone loves movies and food.
Midland is a wealthy town, and there are plenty of opportunities to find patronization for every branch of the arts. Not just in private sectors but public as well. Local businesses and private citizens alike should help support the arts and vice-versa. This is a community wide issue and the community that remarks on what a sad lack we have is the same community that ought to stand up and help to fix it.
I am not saying that every single person in town MUST contribute and donate and take part, because honestly not everyone enjoys this sort of thing. That is absolutely fine. But all of those who go around lamenting what we “don’t have” should do something about it. Have a problem? Then find a way to fix it.