Importance of the Cultural Art Scene in our Region

Louisville cultural artsAlbert Einstein once said, “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” Creativity allows us to think big, dream bigger, and lets our imaginations run wild. Having a thriving cultural arts scene is critical for any region.

Luckily for the people in our area, we’re encouraged to imagine, innovate, and dream big thanks in part to vibrant cultural arts scene that not only inspires creativity, but also fosters collaboration. Here are two examples how:

The Derby Dinner Playhouse in Jeffersonville, Indiana, one of the most well-known venues in our region, began a program in 1986 that combined theatre and education for children in the area, with the goal of developing the creativity and appreciation of theatre within students. This program is not unlike the Performing Arts Center (PAC) in Hardin County, where students from area schools come to perform musicals, showcase talents, and put on concerts. From elementary to high school, children of all ages use the PAC to perform and watch others display their cultural arts talents.

This weekend in a collaborative effort between the Derby Dinner Playhouse and the Hardin County PAC, a community pro-am drama, “Our Town,” will be presented at the PAC. This pro-am production is a great way for amateurs in the area to interact with professionals and allows everyone to get in on the act.

Bart Lovins, PAC director, says of the musical and the pro-am performance: “It’s such a classical piece of theater that most people have seen some form of “Our Town” in their lives. The PAC’s season has been devoted to highlighting the Hardin County community, ending with ‘Our Town’ to showcase local talent.”

“Our Town” professional actor J.R. Stuart has appeared on the PAC stage in the past when he performed a one-man show based on the life of Mark Twain. According to the News Enterprise, Stuart’s love for “Our Town” started early in his career when he played the Stage Manager in “Our Town” in 1981. J.R. Stuart has been the resident character actor at Derby Dinner Playhouse in Clarksville, Indiana since July, 1990, and has performed across the United States and Canada in national tours.

In this collaboration between the PAC and the Derby Dinner Playhouse, Stuart is bringing his big-town expertise to Hardin County in what promises to be an exciting and eventful show. Lovins says of this performance: “Audiences will enjoy the community performance. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you will have a good time.”

Learn more about the cultural arts scene in Hardin County and reserve your ticket to this weekend’s performance of “Our Town!”

Louisville’s cultural arts scene has some big news this weekend too. A collaboration and partnership between Mikelle Bruzina, principal dancer and choreographer at the Louisville Ballet, and composer Ben Sollee will be showcased this weekend at 60th Anniversary Celebration for the Louisville Ballet.

The two have been working for almost a year on the upcoming world premiere of “Sansei.” According to the Louisville Ballet’s website, Bruzina began developing Sansei after being awarded a Choo-San Goh Award in Choreography. Although Bruzina and Sollee have been friends and fans of each other’s work for several years, this is the first time they’ve gotten to work together on a ballet.

Bruzina, who now serves as the ballet mistress, was inspired by her Japanese immigrant grandparents. According to WFPL News, Bruzina had this to say about her collaboration with Sollee:

“We talked initially about the sound or style we were trying to capture, which had hints, influences of Japanese traditional music done on the Kabuki stage or traditional Japanese dance, and you know he has a lot of Bluegrass background in his playing, and both of us being from Kentucky, Lexington, both drew from that as well. I feel like [Sollee’s] soul and his heart is in a similar place, as far as the landscape we are creating together with this piece.”

You can support The Louisville Ballet’s 60th Anniversary and watch “Sansei” live by purchasing tickets to the Diamond Jubilee event here.

The cultural arts scene in our region is thriving. From Hardin County to Jeffersonville, Indiana, venues such as the PAC and the Derby Dinner Playhouse allow people of all ages to express their talents and show support for the arts. To access a list of community arts centers, museums, venues, and more in our region and beyond, click here.