The Blog Squad

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Cheers! Here's to the (hiccup!) Performing Arts Center

The guys at Save Richmond are at it again, salivating over the rotting carcass of the Virginia Performing Arts Foundation. Things have heated up again in the past several weeks as Save Richmond and Style Weekly scoured the Foundation's bills to see what it was charging the city for as "pre-construction costs." One item caught Save Richmond's attention: a bill for $2,009.83 from Europa, where the Foundation last year hosted an open-bar night with OPUS, the group of young professionals who support the Performing Arts Center. Apparently, anyone who promised to write a letter to a General Assembly member in support of the Performing Arts Center was on the Foundation's tab for the evening. Save Richmond seems to think this is a ridiculous legislative strategy. "We can only imagine how heartfelt some of the letters written later in the evening must have been," Eagle Eyes posted. That might be a little unfair. If heartfelt counts with legislators, and if this letter (that just happened to come into my possession) is at all indicative of the letters written by attendees that night, the Foundation is well on its way to achieving its goals.

Feb. 11, 2004

Dear Legislator:

I am writing to you as a supporter of a strong and vital performing arts scene in Richmond. The commitment of the Richmond performing arts community to world-class presentations of symphonic music, opera, jazz, dance and theater should and must be equaled by the city with full support for the proposed Virginia Performing Arts Center.

I am so committed to this cause that I am writing to you from a gathering of OPUS, a group of young professional Richmonders united in its support for the Performing Arts Center. But if you will excuse me momentarily, I will put down my pen long enough to raise a glass as we all toast the future of Richmond’s performing arts! Cheers!

I must say, that cosmopolitan was as stiff and smooth as Baryshnikov in midair.

How to emphasize the importance, the richness of the performance art experience?

I will ponder that very thought during the next toast.


What I’m trying to say I guess is that Richmond needs, desperately needs, the Performing Arts Center. People will flock to it. Young professionals such as myself will feed their love of the arts and do a little shopping. Think about it. There’s the Carpenter Center, the renovated crown jewel among the other, smaller, sparkly stones — the high-tech music hall, the community playhouse, the jazz club and the VAPAF offices. It will be so awesome!


OK, so I don’t really get jazz music with its be-be-dee-bopbop stuff and how it sounds so out of tune sometime and I would love to go the symphony sometime if I could drag my boyfriend (well, maybe I wouldn’t love to go, but I’d love to like it, you know?) and Sweet Bearded Jesus, I’d sooner close my hand in my George Foreman grill than sit through an entire opera, but still, I totally totally support the Arts Thing!


I’ll put it another way. I was a student of Miss Monique’s School of Dance from 5th through 8th grades, minus summers, and my experience with the performing arts, and the practicing and the recitals and little shoes that mother complained were so expensive was this: No amount of perfect pirouettes can win a daddy’s love.


Dude! Watch the elbow!


Did I say richness?


I'll bet you're kind of cute. What did you say you do for a living?



At Tue Sep 13, 04:14:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what would save richmond propose as an alternative?

At Tue Sep 13, 11:16:00 PM EDT, Blogger Janet Giampietro said...

We've got a link to their site on our blog page, so you might check it out.


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