On paper, the state of the arts in Augusta is strong. So strong, in fact, that the whole idea of a grand performing arts center is one again being tossed about, both by editorial pages and by those who could actually do something to make such a thing happen.
At the same time, things are moving along pretty well at the venues we do have. We have intelligent, savvy managers booking the Bell and the James Brown Arena, a wise reset of oversight over at the Lady A Amphitheatre, an aggressive push by Symphony Orchestra Augusta to resurrect the Miller and at least the appearance of good things ahead at the Imperial (with them, appearance is all you can expect).
Which is makes last Wednesday’s Beethoven Lunch and Learn so disappointing. Here, you had a free — free — talk given not by some stuffy, no-name music historian, but by the young, dynamic executive director of our own orchestra, and she was speaking about the most widely recognized and easily appreciated composer in the history of orchestral music. The week-long Beethoven Festival it was a part of had been well advertised, well promoted and thoroughly covered by area media, with a cover story here, write ups in the daily and spots on local television.
Frankly, no one could ask for better execution, either from themselves or from their friends in the media. Not only that, the festival hit the right tone, neither stuffy nor dismissively condescending.
However, attendance at Mieko Di Sano’s Wednesday talk at the library topped out at five — the next two speakers, Di Sano’s assistant, the executive director of the Greater Augusta Arts Council and a member of the media who was there out of his own curiosity.
That makes one person — or zero, depending on how much you want to quibble over the term “general public” — who was interested enough or engaged enough in their community to go.
Maybe it’s not Augusta that’s lame. Maybe it’s Augustans. You Might Also Like:
Another Missed Opportunity
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