Saturday, November 3, 2007

Be a part of the revolution

by Dave Schaefer

Well okay, maybe it’s not a revolution, but it’s at least a realization.

Cities are always making declarative statements about themselves, attaching clever catch phrases aimed at pulling in tourism or creating a media buzz to grab attention. Many aren’t true and most are, at best, a misrepresentation.

Not so, with the latest of Columbus’s hopeful titles: “The indie art capital of the world.” It’s partly due to the fact that it’s not the city that’s promoting it, it’s a grassroots effort started by a couple of guys from the local arts community. And they’re simply stating something that’s already true. In their words: “The spirit and business of making art (or anything for that matter) is ingrained in our city’s DNA. There are literally hundreds of different expressions of indie art in Columbus. From dance, film and visual arts to literature, music and even advertising.”

The effort was launched at the end of October by artist Mike Reed, a member of the Couchfire Collective which is the organization responsible for the Agora arts events. Joined by another local artist, Daniel Fox of, the movement will culminate with the first Columbus Indie Arts Conference in 2008. The conference hopes to feature both locally and nationally known artists and innovators and “celebrate the rich cultural Arts tradition of Columbus.”

Says Fox: “Independent Art and Columbus Ohio have always had a strong connection. Our independent spirit extends from crafters to entrepreneurs, from the music scene to theater and beyond. There’s so much going on here just under the radar.”

Although the campaign is currently grassroots, the plan is to go beyond that to involve Columbus leaders outside the art community, including Mayor Coleman, and taking this independent movement and giving it mass appeal.

And ultimately solidifying Columbus as the true indie art capital of the world.

For more information:

The group will have a brainstorming session on Sunday November 11 at 11:00am at Junctionview Studios (889 Williams Ave., which is just off of Northwest Blvd. between 5th and Goodale). All are welcome. However, they emphasize that you don't have to attend to be a part of the effort. They encourage people to participate in their own creative way, which is the true spirit of the indie arts scene.

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