Our first Political Party drew a wide range of response. Here are excerpts from two letters — one from local DJ Laurel Dickman and the other, referred to in Wayne Garcia's article at left, from soprano Rose Kue.
LESS TALK, MORE ACTION
I was at the symposium this evening at the Shimberg Playhouse and I have to be completely honest, I was a bit disappointed. I felt like a good deal of the time was spent by people simply spouting off about their accomplishments and not enough time was spent asking how to get the community involved to create a warmer climate for young artists of all forms.
The only way to do this is to make young people feel as though they are more involved in the process itself, as well as providing them with better outlets and more spaces to work in. Affordable studio spaces would be a start, an attainable goal with a modicum of city subsidies. We need people lobbying the government on both city and state levels for more arts funding. When that comes up short, which is to be expected, we need to search for private contributors within our own community. If this particular age group has the funding and the space, they will not need to go anywhere else other than traveling a bit in order to tame their wanderlust. Half of my friends who have left the Tampa area have returned home because of two things: they ran out of money, but they also felt that their hometown has a lot of cultural potential. One thing that this area has going for it is the low cost of living, especially St. Petersburg, and that definitely brings people back here, as well as nostalgia for the place that they call home.
ONLY IN TAMPA
The panel really got me thinking about the situation here in Tampa. I asked for them to change my mind and they did, at least about one thing: Whereas before the panel, I felt as though I had no options here, I've come to realize that I have many options. It just requires more energy, creativity and bravery than I ever assumed. The situation changes into, "It's not about what Tampa can do for me, but what I can do for Tampa." This changes my entire outlook on my art and contribution, which shifts from the individual audience member to an entire community. Does this make any sense? It's going to take more time for me to absorb everything, but I'm definitely thinking and talking.