Sunday, February 8, 2015

Cultural Initiative: Batman, skateboards and ramen

Cheery women posed with mannequin parts on the small stage at the Chop Shop while Ryan Fenix Sumner snapped pictures. A half dozen people buried their heads in  bowls of ramen noodles. Scores of others milled about admiring art that ranged from a skateboard sculpture to framed paintings and photos. On the mainstage, Adrian Crutchfield, Tony Diaz, and others performed. In masking tape squares, random party-goers danced dramatically. Human mannequins posed on a platform. A handful of vendors hawked everything from coffee to handcrafted items. All of this occurred at the exact same time.

Saturday was my first time experiencing Cultural Initiative. At first it, felt overwhelming. So much happening simultaneously. Then I felt emancipated. I'm so accustomed to events being linear experiences. There's a set schedule. Typically all of my attention must be focused on the main performer on stage, then the next performer.

Cultural Initiative let the audience decide. It was a refreshing approach to entertainment. I caught a little bit of everything, talked with friends, made new acquaintances all at my own pace. Kudos to Joel Andrew Tracey and the rest of the Cultural Initiative collective for trusting that the audience could experience the evening on its own terms.