Your ticket to a vital community

T he newspaper you are holding right now is, at heart, one thing: a collaborative effort. Writers, artists, photographers, administrators, and many others come together under stressful deadlines to deliver this product every week at no cost to our citizens. It is also a civic asset because it helps weave social fabric by increasing awareness […]

Collaboration is the key


“American Mosaic” united several Dayton performing arts groups in an unforgettable spectacle.

By Dave Bukvic

The newspaper you are holding right now is, at heart, one thing: a collaborative effort. Writers, artists, photographers, administrators, and many others come together under stressful deadlines to deliver this product every week at no cost to our citizens. It is also a civic asset because it helps weave social fabric by increasing awareness of the people, places and impact of events in our city. The collaborators involved are people who live here and have a stake in the health of our area.

The newspaper USA Today, by comparison, is a commodity. It does not help our community in any real way. You can get it anywhere in the country and you may never see a word about Dayton printed therein (unless we have a disaster of some sort, perish the thought).

Movies, to take a different example from the entertainment category, are a commodity. You can see the same releases anywhere and most of your ticket expenditure goes out of town to Hollywood and mall owners. (Yes, let’s make an exception for theatres like the Neon and the Little Art which are wonderful expressions of community taste and support local businesses as well).

Another good example is the dining category. Applebee’s is a commodity; Meadowlark is an asset. There’s nothing wrong with either; it’s just the nature of what they are.

Locally-produced arts basically work the same way. Local bands, dance troupes, theatre groups and art organizations are created—stem to stern—by people who live here and have the desire to make the community around them a better place for their families and especially their children. These are important civic assets. When you support these art forms, you are in essence supporting yourself. Your ticket expenditure stays here and builds a better place for us to live, work, and play.

On July 2nd, legendary front man of The Who Roger Daltrey presents the famous rock opera Tommy with his rock ensemble and orchestral backing provided by musicians of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. When you attend the concert at The Fraze Pavilion, you will be supporting several community assets at the same time. The rock opera Tommy is a commodity, available in many formats and venues. But this particular collaboration is a civic asset.

This concert is not the only event for which the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra has performed at the Fraze, and it will probably not be the last. Early on, the Orchestra helped bring a symphonic audience to the Fraze with its Sunset Symphony series and later, the Classical Masters series. Since then, the DPO has backed various guest artists including Josh Groban and country star Collin Raye.

From our patron saints and brotherly collaborators Orville and Wilbur Wright onward, Dayton has been a city of invention driven by collaboration. It’s our DNA. It’s part of what made the merger of the Dayton Ballet, Dayton Opera, and Dayton Philharmonic a reality. This unique union is possible here, but not likely elsewhere. Today, the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance is a major community resource. Those artists add a different dimension to our city: teaching in many different settings and performing with many groups in addition to the Alliance.

The Roger Daltrey collaboration is not the first time that the DPO has presented programming that steps outside of the classical box yet dramatically displays the value of an orchestra. Consider the highly successful Rockin’ Orchestra Series, in which they team up with artists and bands who take the stage with the full orchestra to perform concerts overflowing with the rock n’ roll music that shaped a generation. Building upon that success, the DPO has engaged local artists through talent competitions such as Guitar Heroes and Soul Divas. In each case, the Orchestra brought supremely talented local musicians to the Schuster stage, backed by the Orchestra.

Every week, local performing artists take to Dayton stages and music venues for your entertainment. Together, these people and groups have the willingness to experiment and collaborate in order to present the best and the brightest in locally-generated drama, dance and music.

So the next time you plunk down your hard-earned coin for a ticket purchase, think: Am I buying a simple commodity? Or building a strong community?

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