Midwest Voices

Fall is a great time to enjoy the arts

Updated: 2013-08-31T23:26:24Z

By G.D. GRANGER

Special to The Star

Well, it’s almost that time of year — fall is in the air.

Students have started back to school, and many of us have started making plans to put away our summer toys. I love fall.

It is by far my favorite season. It seems as if the world starts to slow down, and people stop rushing here and there.

The talk around the dinner table turns to college and professional sports. Already my family has started making plans for family gatherings for the holidays, and I feel the overwhelming need to clean out my closets.

Fall is when Kansas City and our surrounding communities come bursting alive with the arts. I feel proud to be a part of a great city and the surrounding communities where the performing arts are alive, well, growing and enriching all our lives with music, dance, live theater for the young, the old and everyone in between.

When fall arrives in Kansas City it is as if the sky opens up, and artists gracefully fall to earth and bless us with their talents and visions while they move us to be better people, a better city, a wiser and more interesting community. And let’s not forget what our local colleges and universities bring to our community by introducing us to young men and women who are training to take their places in the world of art.

Many people feel that the arts are only for the well-heeled. But I disagree. There are many ways in which our city and surrounding communities avail the arts to all of our citizens.

Parents with children and tight budgets can call the different box offices and ask about pricing and special offers, and remember many performing arts venues have group pricing. If you are older and have a little more time on your hands consider volunteering because arts organizations could always use helping hands.

Many times you can get a reduced price or see a performance free. My personal favorite is the Sunday matinee.

I find this to be easier on the pocketbook while giving me a feeling of being connected to the artists. Many school districts include in their budgets field trips to museums and theater productions for the young. Many local artists visit schools to inspire young people to create and dream about their own artistic gifts and talents.

The great thing about the Kansas City art scene is that it is everywhere and not just in the heart of Kansas City. It’s to north, south, east and west. In every community you can find something for the art lover in every individual.

I have decided that this fall I will set my TIVO on record and spend more time visiting, attending and enjoying the arts in Kansas City. I also promise to attend my local high school plays and concerts this fall. I will find at least one favorite arts program and volunteer my time.

It is also important to recognize that a great arts community brings in revenue to our businesses, and cities collect taxes, which in turn provides local neighborhoods with much needed services. The arts improve our cities’ livability and attract conventions, and new business opportunities for Kansas City and the surrounding communities and colleges. The arts make us all better people.

So, this fall grab a spouse, friend or loved one, put on your favorite set of pearls or your favorite cords and loafers and experience the wonderful, vibrant and exciting Kansas City art scene. We all will be better people for the experience.

G.D. Granger of Kansas City is a unit supervisor for the Missouri Department of Corrections. To reach her, send email to oped@kcstar.com or write to Midwest Voices, c/o Editorial Page, The Kansas City Star, 1729 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64108.

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