Supporting the arts


Ah, there's nothing like swing.

Even though my focus is clearly on handmade goods and cooking, it’s always nice to get a reminder that there is so much more out there. Between theater, music, writing and all the other sweet things people are into, there is never a drought for fun new things to experiences, even in a small city like Billings. The fact is, if you think there is nothing good to see or do, you just aren’t looking hard enough.

If you are focused on one area of creativity, you can set in this mindset of being a creator and not a recipient. I spend a fairly large amount of time making things, nearly always for other people. A few weeks ago, I read a great article about if you aren’t remotely DIY, you can always support DIY types. Can’t sew? Invest in a custom-made wrap dress or top. It was a really good article, and I liked it enough to share with friends on Facebook. But since I am DIY, I didn’t really think of it from the second point of view until this weekend.

Sunday night, I was flipping through the Friday paper and saw a short article about The Kid & Nic Show, a swing band based out of California. My husband and I had seen them twice before in Deadwood – once on our honeymoon and again on our first anniversary. This was their first time playing in Montana, and we weren’t going to miss it. Their performance was actually tied to an awards show for local musicians. There were half a dozen opening bands, so it was shaping up to be a decent crowd. The problem is, once Kid & Nic played two songs, they finished out the awards — then everyone left. My husband and I were sitting there with about twenty other people watching the show.

I took a bit of issue with that. Yes, they were not a local band, but everyone putting off hitting the bar for 45 minutes for the rest of the set would’ve been nice. I regularly hear people say they wish there was more variety and new bands coming through, but with a reaction like that, it’s no surprise. But rather than get upset about it, we went on and had a really fun night. It was an awesome performance, and I’m really glad we went. It’s been a long time since we got out of the house and relaxed like that.

So I guess what I’m saying is, if you love something support it. If you want more good musicians to visit, come to their shows. If you love local theater, make sure to go to shows. And most important, if you’ve got a friend or family member who is a DIYer, make sure you support it. You don’t have to buy everything they make, but expressing interest always means something. Every once in a while, ask about current projects or head to their studio to see what’s in progress.

Supporting the arts takes on many forms. Just do what comes natural to you.

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