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  Culture Corner - Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance Blog
Guest Blog by Diversity Focus Executive Director Chad Simmons
posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012  Post Comment

I received an email regarding last year’s “The Roots” concert two days before the show. I am a huge fan. Regrettably, I could not change my schedule to attend. Why did I not know about the concert earlier? My circle of friends (Neo-Soul enthusiast) were also unaware of the concert. Nine months later, I asked a group of African American professionals, who are social media gurus, whether they knew if the group came to town and all I heard was crickets.

For most of us, Arts and Cultural activities are only one facet of our life. But theater, concerts, art shows and festivals are not only entertaining, they can be therapeutic and spiritual in nature. So it is hard to imagine life in the Creative Corridor without the Arts. Unfortunately, this is what many people experience when they move to our region.

Connecting people through their cultural lens allows individuals to be their authentic selves and supports a thriving diverse community. The lack of authenticity creates a dull and depressing existence. This is what many new community members experience when they come to our region. A tree may not make a sound if it falls in the middle of a forest, but for many people in the area, a tree that falls right next to them does not make a sound. They are not deaf…it’s just that they are focused on other joys and challenges that life brings them and sometimes tune out the things that are less of a priority, at that particular time. Sure, we can continue to encourage everyone to receive another 100 emails a day by registering for every list serve in the area, but finding that special event feels like looking for a needle in a haystack. Is there an E-Harmony like tool that connects people to the cultural events they are interested in by specific community group or even artistic interest?

Eventually I will get over my disappointment of missing “The Roots” concert, but I hope you understand the broader question that I am attempting to bring to light. Without Arts and Culture, life is just another shade of gray. How can the Cultural Community assist people in building a healthy, happy and prosperous life in Iowa’s Creative Corridor?

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