Go Deeper

Makoto Hirano’s Love Letter to Philly

Posted July 11th, 2011

Makoto Hirano, an ex-Chicagoan and nine-year resident of Philly, recently published the most wonderful love letter to the Philly performance scene on Chicago Artists Resource. Making appearances:

The collaborative work of Headlong Dance Theater and Pig Iron Theatre company, and their training programs: “their momentum continues to inspire the next generation of makers and artists.”

Live Arts/Fringe: “Some of the coolest stuff I’ve seen and been a part of has been through the festival.”

The prevalence of site-specific work: “These shows weren’t big money-makers, but the fact that so many dance and theatre artists were interested in engaging their audience in an unorthodox way—and succeeding—well, that itself was wild and political. Now we have a biennial performance festival focused solely on unused/unorthodox sites.”

The low low low cost of real estate, both for arts spaces and for homes: “It’s cheap–so cheap that people buy homes on their measly artists’ income. Now if that’s not radical, I don’t know what is!”

And Artists U, which, according to Makoto’s article, will be rolling out to Chicago soon.

I gotta say that I loved the five years I spent in Chicago, and the five years I spent in New York, but Philly has—by far—afforded me the most opportunities, and the most interesting opportunities, of anywhere I’ve lived. The reason, most fundamentally, is our arts community’s dedication to making elite work while also building sustainable lives. Cheers to, um, everyone! Read Makoto’s full piece here.

–Nicholas Gilewicz