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Arts on the Plateau

An introduction to this blog, what it's about and an invitation to join the discussion.

Introduction: What is this Blog about?

   It has always been my belief that “the power of the pen is mightier than the sword.” As a career journalist over 30 years I have been presented over and again with the opportunity and responsibility to empower ordinary people and inspire them to action. It is my intention in this blog to enhance the synergy of the creative energy of the Plateau so those of us working in the arts and those of us that appreciate and enjoy the arts can all participate in the development of a vibrant community.  If we, as arts lovers and arts supporters, are in sync we can all share in the positive growth and economic development of Enumclaw, and other surrounding communities.

The issues of Arts and Economic Development

   The issue of economic development is relevant in discussing the arts. According to a dynamic arts organization, Americans for the ARTS,  the arts are fundamental to humanity and have the power to transform lives. Its basic tenants are:

  • Arts education develops well-rounded children and citizens. 
  • Artistic expression connects people from around the globe. 
  • The arts, broadly defined, are essential to a thriving community, creating a sense of place and fueling social and economic growth. 
  • In order to thrive, the arts in America —and broad access to them—need an investment of a mix of public, private and consumer resources.

On the Americans for the Arts website you may find this interesting study:  

  "Every day, more than 100,000 nonprofit arts and culture organizations act as economic drivers—creating an industry that supports jobs, generates government revenue, and is the cornerstone of our tourism industry. This study documents the key role played by the nonprofit arts and culture industry, and their audiences, in strengthening our nation’s economy." View video here . 

Join the Discussion

   This blog intends to cover all the arts, visual, performing and literary. My intent is to inform residents and visitors to the Plateau about the movements of local artists and local arts groups in the pursuit of the arts and news of their awards, honors, accomplishments as well as promoting discussion of the issues that artist and artist groups struggle with to survive and grow. In this spirit I offer all of you, readers and artists alike, to contact me via email if there are any issues, ideas, suggestions you might wish to offer for inclusion in the Arts on the Plateau blog. Your comments are welcome.

 (Susan Etchey is a freelance writer who resides in Enumclaw and she can be contacted at azaroa40@yahoo.com)

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

dexterjibs November 27, 2012 at 12:52 AM
Susan, I love a good piece of framed artwork. I prefer oil on canvas paintings and have purchased about a dozen original oil paintings of John P Ludlum. What are your thoughts about purchasing art as investments? Do you think purchasing art for the sake of investment somehow sullies art in general? I have to admit I did purchase the Ludlum's for an investment opportunity, but I fell in live with them the moment I saw them. So I am torn.
Susan Etchey November 27, 2012 at 01:28 AM
Dexterjibs, The whole subject of buying and selling art to make money is out of my league. My only thought is an artist's body of work increases in value when individual pieces command higher and higher prices. The artist isn't hurt, so why not invest? More enjoyable to look at than paper investments. But like all investing one has to know what they are doing and the risks involved, don't they?
Mary L. Ballard, MD November 27, 2012 at 02:05 AM
Susan, you are a welcome addition to the Enumclaw Community and encouraging everyone; children, teens, adult and the elderly to experience art, as you say, can only enhance a community. Writing books, selling paintings and artwork, making movies not only enhances the soul of a nation, but is a very positive source of income for the country. It is interesting to see the difference in dexterjibs' tone when he addresses women versus men. Generally people such as him are not even aware of how they come off to others. Read my blog post on climate change.
Susan Etchey November 27, 2012 at 03:04 AM
Thank you, Dr. Ballard. I did read your excellent blog on climate change and I agree with your recommendations. I especially beleive in composting. Its good for the earth and good for the garden. I passed on your wonderful book Revealed to a logging family in Buckley who enjoyed it and said you are spot on about life in a logging community. They passed it onto another logging family so you have some fans there! It would be great to see your book produced as a movie. Then this region could be the location of the filming and the economic wheels would turn. I am thinking that you should do a reading of your book and book signing. Do you have plans for that?
dexterjibs November 27, 2012 at 05:37 AM
Susan, don't pay Mary any mind. She has a secret crush on me. She is like the little school girl that punches a boy and when asked by the teacher why she punched the boy, it turns out she likes the little boy and wished he would pay more attention to her. I feel like I need to go to the County and get a protection order or something. Anyway, I am sorry she let our love spat spill over onto your blog.
Kimberly Fleming November 27, 2012 at 05:42 PM
Dr Ballard. I read your book a few months back and really enjoyed it. I got it at the book store in town, The Sequel. I was looking for a mystery/adventure book by a local author and he highly recommended your book! What new book is in the works?
Mary L. Ballard, MD November 27, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Thanks Kim. The idea was to provide the community with a fun read and draw attention to our community for movies and TV locations to help bring income to our downtown area with a film crew. The next book is called "Cellular Memory" and is about a heart transplant recipient who starts having nightmares about her donor's murder and sets out to solve it. Regarding Dexterjibs I do not know what your real name is and I have never met you. Your statements again are meant to demean me, foolish and careless and you need to watch what you say in a small community where you can be misconstrued as harassing and libelous. Regarding your threat of a restraining order, I have in no way purposefully verbally or physically threatened you, harassed you or intimidated you in any way, yet your posts which have not been deleted and can be used as written evidence against you in court remain. I encourage you to seek a protective order so that I may know your real name and proceed with legal action from there.
Susan Etchey November 28, 2012 at 06:20 AM
Okay, here's my ground rules. Comments that do not pertain to the arts will be flagged as innapropriate. Conversations can agree or not agree if we are talking about arts issues but no personal insults will be acceptable. This is not a sounding board. We can argue about what is art or not art, we can express likes and dislikes, but never with a tone of disrespect or unkindness toward others. So that's my rules. This is about the arts and for the arts, and nothing else. Thank you.
Mary L. Ballard, MD November 28, 2012 at 02:58 PM
Well said. The value of the blog is to educate, enlighten and entertain. Susan has so much to offer this community from her years of experience in the arts and her excellent writing skills. I should be half as good as a writer a she is. What types of arts programs would the community like to see? Mayor Reynolds and I have discussed a Film Festival. How does everyone feel about that and what genre of films would be welcome? Please comment.
Susan Etchey November 28, 2012 at 04:52 PM
The creation of a well-planned film festival is a very appealing idea to me, Dr. Ballard. I once studied script-writing and know there are others here on the Plateau trying to master this art form. A film festival is an idea that needs further exploration by a few people willing to invest the time. I think the first step is to invite serious-minded people to meet and talk over coffee to discuss how an event of this sort can be organized, what it should look like, and who is willling to do what. Certainly there are many models of film festivals being held all over the country so research can produce much information. An example of a small community that produces a film festival every year is Gig Harbor so you don't have to be huge, only committed. But there are factors in Enumclaw that deter wide scale attendance, the main one lack of hotel/motel accommodations, e.g. A venue like the Chalet Theater is necessary. If the theater is eventually purchased and renovated by Chalet Arts Showcase Theater (CAST) it may be a prime site but that is not going to happen soon. On the other hand a really good film festival may take a few years in planning.

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