Hopes for the arts in 2013Local creative folks give their take
What would you like to see in Haywood County this year? Ask your average joe, and you might get answers that run the gamut from jobs to Target. Ask an artist, musician or actor, and who knows what crazy rabbit hole they'll take you down? Now, as has become tradition at The Guide, we ask people from across the creative community about their hopes and dreams for 2013's local arts scene.
Executive director of Haywood Arts Regional Theatre
HART obviously is beginning the year with some major ambitions for building Stage II, and growing into a more professional company that impacts the area economy. We hope to strengthen our ties with the educational institutions in the area and become more of a resource to them as well. 2012 was a successful year for us, and we have a great season coming in 2013. All of our dreams are dependent on community support. We will not go into debt and risk our financial well being to rush things. In our 29 years of operation we have never had a losing season, never borrowed funds to support our operations, and over the past five years we have actually managed to build up a substantial savings fund to deal with emergencies. We have our dreams well in sight, and hope we can begin to realize them in the coming year.
This is a "pie in the sky" wish that music promoter and/or millionaire would buy the Eaglenest entertainment complex on Soco Road in Maggie Valley, and turn it into a serious music venue for concerts. There are many up-and-coming country and bluegrass groups, plus vintage rock groups, that could do well at the venue. Look how well Harrah's has done with its concerts and events at their new event center. Eaglenest is much closer geographically to the population of WNC, and could attract music fans from all over the area — if the bookings are more in-tune with what is happening in music today. If the right person, with $3.2 million to purchase the entertainment venue is reading this, the real estate listing is often found in the real estate section of The Mountaineer's website.
10th-grade artist/costume designer/actor/Voices in the Laurel member
Elementary and middle school is where kids start developing their creative spark and imagination. Imagination is important — it keeps you from being bored in school. It's the ability to think up cool things that other people can't. I'd like to see more kid-friendly art experiences in public settings. Little things kids can pick up, walk around with, play with or make. Like at QuickDraw, where you tear off bits of colored paper and help create the art. You can put a blob of random color on it, or construct an object with bits, like a flowerpot. QuickDraw is great, because it gives money to schools where they don't have any.
My wish for the arts is that one of our community's biggest treasures — Haywood Community College — continues to thrive in 2013. Particularly, HCC's Professional Craft Program, which encourages all forms of arts and crafts, and yearly adds to our area's wealth of talent. I also wish that HCC's program that waived tuition for seniors (over 65) in the professional crafters program be reinstated. That would make this program accessible to seniors, encourage them to remain creative during their later years, and enrich classrooms with a diversity of age and talent. It would be a way for seniors to grow and give back to our community — both creatively and economically. And I bet the seniors can tach the "kids" in the program a thing or two about life and the arts.
While the selfish part of me would like to see an art-house movie theater here in Haywood, I'm not really concerned with those of us able to drive to our favorite cultural escapes. I'm worried about those who can't. If you're a grade-schooler here, you are guaranteed a great art teacher. Unfortunately, you're only guaranteed one art class every 10 days of school. That means once every two weeks. That means, without question, not enough. I'm sure it's the same all across the state and the nation, but that doesn't mean it's right. This year, and all years after, I hope we find a way to incorporate art into the everyday life of youngsters. They deserve it. We all do.
Artist and co-owner of Inspired Art Ministry
I would like to see more spiritual development in our A & E community during 2013. As the co-owner of the Inspired Art Ministry, Inc. (Iam) and instructor of drawing and painting classes for adults, I have a strong desire to be faith-based. The unique style of teaching I use involves drawing out each individual's creativity by using traditional & progressive art techniques. Iam is non-denominational and operates out of First Baptist Church of Waynesville.
I believe the recent Sandy Hook tragedy shows our need to develop good spiritual resources to confront evil in our world and what a good place to do that: our A & E Community.
Jazz singer/head of Satin Steel Jazz
It was my intention this year to introduce the presence of live jazz in Waynesville, and thanks to the venues, the musicians, local press and the overwhelming community response, we did. To this day I receive feedback on how wonderful the sounds of jazz were from Maggie Valley to downtown Main Street beginning in January through November.
This past fall we experienced a sold-out show every Saturday during our successful jazz series. It is my continued hope to carry into 2013 the year round presence of jazz and based on the enthusiasm, I’m eager to launch another festival as well as a monthly jazz jam.
With our upcoming debut album, “A Thousand Years Ago”, featuring a blend of originals and classics, I’m encouraging more local venues to meet the growing jazz audience in our town.
Thank you, Waynesville collective! I hope to receive continued interest and support from such a tenacious performing arts community.