They say it is easier to stay inspired when you are surrounded by those who are inspired.
It’s why some of the most innovative companies are formed by like-minded college students. It’s why certain communities tend to be full of creative people.
As much as I love Southwest Oklahoma, I have always felt that it lacks in this one area. Where is our creative village?
Sure, there is Medicine Park and the Lawton Arts for All and the Frederick Arts ‘N Action show. These things are very wonderful, but that’s not what I am referring to. What bout the day-in, day-out artists who eat, sleep and breathe creativity. Artists, musicians, potters and thespians — we all know a person or two like that, but why is there no village?
I’ve often thought about how downtown Frederick could easily be restored if we opened it up to creative people. Creatives need cheap places that they can rearrange, spill paint on and decorate wildly. We have that.
In fact, many downtown areas are revived through the arts. There’s a whole economic study on it. Artists move in to a cheap and dilapidated part of town, then they start selling their art. Art collectors have lots of money so the economy goes up, tourism happens and money moves into the town because they see it as sophisticated and cultured. Around that point the artists all leave the town because rent is too high and the aristocracy has stifled their creativity.
There’s a strip in downtown Sydney that is all arts. It was explained to me that just five years ago this was the bad part of town. They just happened to be in the middle of this economic swing. The artists are alive and well and attracting money and tourists.
I was fortunate enough to join a private art party while I was there. The guests were all artists of the exhibit, they were reviewing each others’ work. Throughout the room I could feel the creative energy buzzing about. Everyone was encouraging one another and thinking up ideas inspired but other ideas. This is what creative community is all about. I’d like to see this happen around here some day.
Reach Haley Hoover at [email protected] or view photos with her blog at www.thesparklinghippie.com.