In this episode, Tyler Olsen talks theatre as a tool for economic growth in conjunction with his current project, Happy Minnesota.
Arts funding is an easy target. But when we create events–be they gallery exhibitions, art crawls, concerts, or fringe festivals–they spawn other activities: parking, dinner, a drop in at the local pub. This can be thought of in terms of large-scale events at a stadium or performing arts center, but also on the small-scale, along a specific geographic area like along the Central Corridor. The Happy Minnesota project is ambitious experiment, and one I hope succeeds. Minneapolis is blessed with many accessible venues clustered together, but I want to see more theatre in St. Paul, and the only way that will happen is if more people do work there.
Happy Cafe runs from September 13 through the 29 at 858 University Avenue in St. Paul.