Columbus - The Inde Art Capital of the World
Columbus Ohio, Indie Art Capital of the World.
That's quite a proclamation, one which Mike Reed and Daniel Fox the local artists who coined the phrase, will gladly stand behind. In fact even Columbus City Council will stand behind that statement. Columbus area arts organizations along with hipster shops and hangouts are all getting behind this proclamation. Why wouldn't they? Finally Columbus has a moniker that gives it some sort of relevance to young adults and those of us holding onto our youth against all odds.
Is Columbus actually the Indie Art Capital of the World? Well, that's debatable. I mean, there was no contest held, no vote taken and there are plenty of artists and creative types working to improve their own cities throughout the world. So why does Columbus deserve this title? I believe the fact that hundreds of artists, crafters, shop keeps and organizations have latched onto the idea is exactly why we deserve it. We have thrown down the gauntlet, set a goal and made enough of a ruckus about it that we have no choice but to succeed.
Several voices have chirped up since the initial press release saying Columbus does not deserve the title they say . The whole idea is elitist. They argue that just by making this declaration, we are assuring Columbus will fail. Every movement has its detractors and obviously this one does too. Even some artists are skeptical. Creative types don't always like the idea that they are being corralled.
Allow me to rebut those concerns. First of all, when you set your sites on such a lofty goal as this it does have an air of elitism to it. But being elite is not a bad thing unless you want to remain average and hum-drum. Leadership by definition requires standing out from the crowd. The idea that making this declaration assures it won't come true is the same thing as saying that thinking your cool automatically means you're not. Reality is often what you make it. All great movements start with a vision, a goal dreamed up by creative thinkers who seem to have the ability to see into the future. Columbus is thankfully under the spell of such thinkers.
So what does it mean to be the Indie Art Capital of the World? Primarily that Columbus is full of artistic, creative people; people who have independent visions but also understand the value of collaboration. These collaborations are happening not just among artists but also among business and community leaders. These people are creating amazing art and even more amazing relationships.
So what if you think Columbus does not live up to the moniker? It does not matter. The creative community is finally coming together in a meaningful way and we're already seeing the fruits of this labor.
So join me in saying, Here's to Columbus Ohio, the Indie Art Capital of the World.
Andrew Miller is the editor of the blog elephants on bicycles