Monday, August 1, 2011

Make Use

I get into many conversations about the city of Lynn. It's often my fault, and the banter usually leads to what we need. Sure we need things, but we also have stuff.

When Arts After Hours was getting started, we talked about making use of the Lynn Museum, LynnArts, and anything else we might be able to turn into a venue or our events. This past Saturday, Arts After Hours along with SPIN hosted an intimate cabaret-style concert with Carolyn Cole backed up by Rusty Scott in the black box theatre in LynnArts. The Spelling Bee musical was produced there, as well as a couple of other great AAH events. AAH also makes extensive use of the Lynn Museum and its grounds, returning for the third time for August 18th's Backyard Bash.

Hodgepodge makes use of the Lynn Woods Amphitheater, one of the best outdoorsy-yet not overwhelmingly huge outdoor concert spots I've ever known, thanks to its natural slope.

The Friends of Lynn-Nahant Beach make use of Red Rock Park for a Summer season of Thursday evening concerts. I love live music by the ocean. I only wish they'd book more original artists in addition to the usual rotation of area cover bands. I'll offer to help.

Lynn opens its City Hall auditorium to larger touring acts and even serves beer and wine in the lobby area. (I'd like to know when they'll start serving during City Council meetings - that's a joke) When that happens, concert goers often make use of our downtown restaurants and bars. There are several to choose from already.

That's only to name a few, so please don't feel left out - or jump in below.

I know not all is perfect with every venue, but the more they're used, the more likely they are to have their kinks worked out and the capital to improve where needed. I'm thinking about better, more reliable electrical service for Lynn Woods concerts, A/C in the Auditorium (possibly in the works already), more staff at LynnArts to better accommodate late night use, and easier and more routine permitting for street festivals. The proof is that it's happening already. The Lynn Museum is more than halfway through reconfiguring its ground floor for more flexible use.

I also hope more original performing and visual artists start knocking on the doors of area bars to move aside their karaoke and cover band routines for a night or two a month, to have something new and different. Walnut Street is Lynn's best original music venue, but I also believe it will continue to excel in what it's doing as others open up, due to its intimacy. It's my observation that we're really on the cusp of being able to have profitable original music nights at a Lynn bar on a regular basis, in part because of what's happening already and in part because our neighboring cities have more demand than they have room to book for. We have places they can use...

...and the more we use what we have, the more likely it is we'll get some of what we need.

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