When, like last weekend at the Sheldon in Red Wing, a nationally known performer travels outside of a major metropolitan area, when they take the time to show up in a smaller community, it matters. These are places where arts activities run deep and wide. The whole town shows up; people travel from all over; the entire business community rallies in support; people talk about it on the street both before and after, because so many who live and work here shared something together; it is a special occasion and we take notice. For artists, the experience of engaging with a small town is different, too. Nobody will tell you the truth or love you more than a small town!
Money is moved around. That’s true. There is economic impact. In fact, there is a lot of it, and that is important (6). In addition to the dollars and cents, real community connections are made and strengthened. Residents feel more connected to their downtowns, to their neighbors, to place, to the positive, exciting, thought-provoking, fun experiences they have right close to home. We feel pride. We feel grounded. We feel part of the whole.
The arts are not an urban product. They are a human phenomenon. And, art of all shapes and sizes belongs in small towns all across America. Let’s make it happen together.
Why not? and…