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What This County Needs: Art With...

More money to support local groups, more money to import great orchestras and artists, more facilities to allow smaller companies and groups to present their work and to experiment, less competition among local groups for audiences, grants and corporate support . More educational programs, lower ticket prices, more-- any --modern dance . . .

More community involvement, more university and college involvement, more private and corporate commitment . . .

It’s easy to come up with a list of what the county needs if it wants music and dance to flourish here.

But perhaps the overriding need is for each one of us to expose ourselves to the best--the best orchestras, the best artists, the best conductors, the best interpretations, the best dancers, the best performance artists, the best concert halls, the best recordings, the best videotapes, CDs and videodiscs . . . as many, as much, as often as possible.

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That is the only way to experience the true power of art and to learn when we are getting it and when someone is faking it.

An educated audience is a demanding audience that will not tolerate the mediocrity that too often passes for art here, just as it does everywhere else.

That audience can be trusted to understand the need to nurture young, developing artists because they will catch a sense of the divine spark in them.

They will know that just because someone, some group or some company is on the stage of the prestigious Orange County Performing Arts Center, that does not mean that they deserve to be there.

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They will not trust the ads and will be offended or amused by efforts to sell the ineffable as if it were the daytime soaps.

Music and dance will never communicate to everyone. Sorry, but even people of the best will in the world will find themselves uninterested, unmoved.

Fine, accept that as a way of life.

But poorly presented art can turn off those who might otherwise find themselves seized by it and understand why some of us are so grateful for its gift to expand the human spirit.

For the ‘90s? A little more discrimination, please.


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