Sunday, March 16, 2008

Ars Gratia Artis 

Yesterday we went with Coffee to receive her award for that arts contest she won. Turns out that I don't need to be quite so jealous. Even though she won first place in the teen prose category, there was only one award given out in that category. Hmmmmm. Well, I still liked her piece. And besides the handy dandy certificate (suitable for framing) she won a free lunch or dinner for two at Roy's B-B-Q. I suppose in a show of South Seattle arts community solidarity we should have had supper there right away. Instead we scooted over to Georgetown and had a celebratory dinner at Herfy's. I suppose that's better than driving over to Factoria Mall for eats.

I was tempted to think, before the ceremony, that I was going to be wasting two hours' time and six dollars admission just to watch the kid receive her reward. But the reality is, I had a pretty good time. Sure, there are better poets, writers and photographers out there--but it was enjoyable to connect with these local kids and adults and listen to what they had to share with us. There's a lot of little community events like this out there, and I was thinking to myself that I really should take the time to experience them more often.

On the other hand, enjoying the local arts carries a greater risk than just popping in a video or joining the masses at some major concert venue. Meeting local artists runs the risk of establishing local relationships. For example, the other week we accompanied the child to her Washington Old Time Fiddler's meeting. Over the potluck lunch, we struck up conversation with the folks at our table. That led to a couple of the guys there were trying to get me to join the performances. (As a singer, that is, not a fiddler.) We don't want to go there. At least, not until I can perfect singing with a twang....

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