Lots of green space, walkable streets, a variety of local amenities and places to work – these are all elements of a great new urban center. There is, however, another key factor that makes an OK city a great one and that is vibrant and diverse local entertainment.
Too often over the years I’ve listened to local media highlight weekend or weeknight events that I would really like to attend with my husband or friends but ended up dismissing because I was either too busy taking the kids to lessons or a friends house or too involved in work that I simply had to do that night.
That’s got to change and it feels pretty liberating just thinking about it. I’m sure there are plenty of people in my demographic with similar needs and emotions. Our cities are increasingly offering so much in terms of decent, quality entertainment that far too many of us fail to explore. For new urbanism to take hold this fun aspect of community life really needs to be nurtured and supported just like our local businesses.
Cities that are trying to rejuvenate their local entertainment scene would do well to target not just the young 20-somethings but also my demographic – the empty-nesters and boomer aged crowds who are looking for quality and some diversity in their local entertainment mix.
Since we’re in the early stages of seriously considering Cleveland as the city we’re going to travel to for our 25th wedding anniversary this October, I decided to visit one of the coolest sites that focuses on fun and interesting people and activities in Cleveland. The site is aptly called Cool Cleveland (www.coolcleveland.com).
While visiting the site, I ended up reading about a summer concert almost tailor made for the kind of local entertainment I’d like to see more of in our cities.
Northeast Ohio’s rising “jazz stars” apparently decided to get together and put on a special concert at one of the nation’s premier concert houses – Severance Hall (home of the world renowned Cleveland Orchestra).
Severance Hall is usually the setting for international stars, not talent that has yet to make significant waves on the world scene. Not to say the talent line-up for this summer concert at Severance Hall isn’t good, these young and upcoming jazz musicians just aren’t typically what you would expect at a major classical music venue like Severance Hall. That fact alone had me excited. Listen to band leader Matt Skitzki explain the venture in this video.
When we’ve got exceptional assets in our cities like fabulous concert halls, famous universities, beautiful theaters, etc. why not from time to time use these home venues as platforms and springboards for what is truly our best assets – our talented local people?
So Severance Hall is now on my list for possible entertainment options to enjoy while in Cleveland. Now all I need are hotel options and deals for the fall. One of the loveliest urban inns I’ve stayed in is the Glidden House which is actually on the Case Western Reserve University campus and a 2-minute walk to Severance Hall.
What are some of the interesting local entertainment options in your city?