The Economic Impact of the Performing Arts

In today’s (11/8/06) Star Tribune South section, there is an article about Burnsville’s on-going effort to create a community gathering place, commonly known as a downtown. They call it “The Heart of the City” and they’ve been determinedly working on it for at least a decade.

Their latest effort at jump-starting vitality is trying to lure the Chanhassen Theater. Burnsville’s leaders see the performing arts as a strong stimulus to economic development.

In Northfield, we’re fortunate to have a tradition of vibrant performing arts. Of course, there is the Northfield Arts Guild, with their Theater in the Park pictured here, but there are also the numerous companies that are hosted at both Carleton College and St. Olaf College as well as those offered by the emerging artists at Northfield Public Schools.

Northfield is not yet so geographically spread out that it’s long trip to reach the various locations and enjoy performances of any of these organizations. All of them contribute to the community building that makes Northfield vibrant.

So, let’s put that election behind us and enjoy some of Northfield’s performing arts. This week it’s the Art Guild’s “Beauty and the Beast“, sponsored by Millstream Commons, at the Little Theater over on West Third Street. Both sides of that aisle will agree, Northfield’s lucky to have such a lively local arts scene.