Archived Story

Be an informed audience member

Published 11:04am Thursday, November 1, 2012 Updated 1:08pm Thursday, November 1, 2012

Whether you are coming to a concert/performance at A Center for the Arts or another venue do your research. An informed audience is a happy audience.

I didn’t like that kind of music should no longer be uttered from audience members. We are asking you to spend an evening and your hard earned money on an event so please do your homework. Do you remember that part of the excitement of live shows is the connection the artist(s) make with the audience; if not we would just sell you YouTube performances. I have said this to patrons over the last decade and here are several of the responses I have heard on more than one occasion:

• “I don’t have a computer or I don’t do the internet!” — OK then stop at A Center for the Arts and we can show you on our computer, find a friend to show you, go to the library, the Y, the Senior Center or borrow a CD from us.

• “I’ve never heard of that group” — Discovery and education are a part of our mission and see the answer above.

Just because you haven’t heard of them doesn’t mean they are not famous or world class.

Recently a student from overseas stopped in at the Center, she could not believe we had April Verch and Pavlo on our season because they are such world class artists and she had a hard time getting tickets.

• “I saw something like them once and it wasn’t that great.” Groups evolve over time, Even Pat Boone did a heavy metal album. Look the group up and see what they are doing now.

People are allowed an opinion and if you pull paint samples and ask people which sample is blue people will choose different colors. People are allowed and should like different things.

Our Subscription Series consists of eight different genres; you don’t have to like them all. People say you should avoid talking about politics and religion. Religion is a personal choice; politics, on the other hand, is something we are granted the liberty of discussing in our country. My first question to people who want to discuss politics is, “did you vote?” If you did I will discuss my views with you. If your answer is no, then the conversation is over. If you have seen a show and want to discuss the artistic quality, entertainment value, price, or content; great, let’s discuss opinions.

Yet remember that they are just that, one person’s opinion. Your opinion is important to us and we listen to them and weigh them. We have the potential for 440 opinions for every show we do. If you haven’t seen the show the discussion never starts. Do your homework and be an informed patron.


Michael Burgraff is the director of A Center for the Arts in downtown Fergus Falls.

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