Wednesday, October 3, 2012

An Arts Crush to Remember

October, generally, is a month associated with autumn, great pumpkins, and dancing skeletons. But in recent years October has steadily become another type of cultural fixture on the Seattle calendar: a solid month of free arts adventures thanks to a local program called Arts Crush.

Above you'll find Sam Read, the founder of Arts Crush, talking about his first arts crush. An arts crush, of course, is some sort of art-related phenomenon that you've fallen in love with, and, if it were tangible, you would seriously squeeze it into a million exploding hearts. But now we've come to a somewhat philosophical question: what is Arts Crush, really?

In its original incarnation (circa 2005), Arts Crush was a week long theater festival called Live Theatre Week by Theatre Puget Sound. The whole week featured dozens of free performances by over 50 participating theaters, inviting people who didn't know a thing about the stage to see a play risk-free. It became so popular that a mob of arts geeks demanded a broader expansion of the festival, and since 2010 Live Theatre Week was renamed Arts Crush, lengthened to a whole month, and became all-arts inclusive. The concept then was basically the same as it is now - to take art disciplines normally regarded as unapproachable, and open them up to the general public.

Sam Read (the Chipmunks guy) explains it as "breaking the arts out of its box". A big concern with the arts is that it's seen as something only fancy-pants people named Niles and Frasier Crane are into. Not many young'uns have love for the opera these days. And that's what Arts Crush is addressing - how to break the arts out of those sterile white walls and let the modern day person experience it in new ways.

All of the Featured Events on the Arts Crush calendar are free or pay what you can. Otherwise known as free. The important thing here is that you, sir or madam, get out there and experience something new in the arts world. As a person savvy with the First Thursday art walk, we figure you're already planning out your month of Arts Crush events. Share your adventures with us and we'll share with you! Check back for updates on shows we've been going to, and see you at the art walk!


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