I love discovering talent in the arts in our own backyard. There are some incredible artists, musicians and writers in our midst but they remain mostly hidden and not always by design. I hope to bring recognition – and even funding – to the ones who want it so please do send them my way.
Another thing I love is being able to attend performances. I loved the Peter Mulvey concert. I enjoyed the Burchell Dancers last year although missed this year. Anything I can do to help bring the arts to Tok, I’m all for doing.
That’s why I try to reach out to artists, writers and performers to invite them here. This isn’t to compete with Bud Johnson and his awesome acoustic concerts or with the wonderful Chorale Society or with any of the other local performances that everyone here knows and loves. I just welcome variety and in many cases, people would love to come to Tok as part of their touring or to get to these parts for their own interests.
I was really disappointed to learn that someone here in Tok stood in the way of the Sitka Summer Music Festival bringing a world-class concert to Tok this winter. Once word got out that Tok had a concert-level Steinway grand piano, the Executive Director of the music festival (and a dear friend of mine) got so excited to be able to bring classical music to Tok. She works hard to bring world-class classical musicians to rural Alaska.
Unfortunately, she met a road block here in Tok. Instead of all of us getting to experience Judith Cohen, Artistic Director of the Governor’s Chamber Music Series, performing at Faith Chapel – a rare and unprecedented opportunity – this world-class musician was given the cold shoulder and a whole lot of excuses why it just couldn’t happen.
I think we really missed out, but that’s just me.
But I’m not giving up! We now have the possibility of having acclaimed best-selling author, wildlife photographer and former ADN columnist Seth Kantner in our midst. He’s working diligently right now to get here after I reached out to him to invite him to join the book club at Tetlin where this month we’re reading Seth’s book “Shopping for Porcupine.” Turns out he knows someone here in Tok so they are coordinating dates and trying to work out logisitics. Note: It is not a done deal, but let’s all cross our fingers!
All it takes is for folks in our community to help pave the way to bring more of the arts to Tok. I promise to keep doing what I can, including promoting events here on my blog or submitting details to the Mukluk News or to the Fairbanks News-Miner.
One person can pave the way or block the path.
What or whom would you like to see perform here in Tok? And if we get them, are you not only willing to attend but to help spread the word?