STAYIN’ ALIVE: Keeping the Arts Vibrant in a Digital and Divisive Age


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Show #211 | Guests: David Gans, Meredith Hagedorn, Ronit Widmann-Levy | Show Summary: The small suburban theater with a “We Support Planned Parenthood” sticker on the window. The touring musician who’s careful what t-shirt he wears at gas stations in the South. The multi-stage venue producing “Peter and the Wolf” in four languages.
Meanwhile, Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu bring infinite entertainment into today’s living rooms. Why leave the house, paying for tickets, parking, and a babysitter?
We talk to three experienced artists about how they get people out of their houses and butts in seats – and how today’s political climate plays into the challenge of conveying ideas.
Our guests:
David Gans, long associated with the Grateful Dead, spends many hours on the road as a touring musician. David’s challenge: life in an industry with a failing economic model, and long weeks away from home. (David sings our closing song! You’ll find his music here.)
Meredith Hagedorn founded the Dragon Theatre in Redwood City seventeen years ago, and steps down this year as artistic director. The Dragon’s challenge: engaging suburban theatergoers to come see new, innovative material.
Ronit Widmann-Levy is Director of Arts and Culture at the Oshman Family JCC. Since 2012, she has brought a wide array of talent to the center ranging from classical and jazz musicians to acclaimed novelists. Ronit is also a soprano, who has sung in opera houses around the world. Her challenge: serving an audience base diverse in interest, culture, and language.

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