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On behalf of the artists involved in Trip The Light: Ephemeral I'm privileged to premiere, here on The Rapidian, the only video you'll ever see (above) from this most groundbreaking live event. Most sincere thanks to our friends at Hybrid Media for this brilliantly produced teaser.
We're actively preserving this precious moment by prohibiting all manner of recording. This is an ephemeral live experience curated by the visionary founder of Dance in the Annex (and my partner) Amy Wilson. It is a collaborative effort in the truest sense, made possible by the vibrant contributions of the artists listed in this article's sidebar, and all the individuals who've worked so hard to make this happen. It happens once.
The importance of "being there" has never been more sacred, in an era when almost every conceivable experience has a virtual facsimile: televisions have amazing picture quality, movies can be viewed on iPads anywhere, satellite radio and iPods permeate the culture, YouTube has made the word "viral" into a positive attribute and surveillance cameras document everything from public transit to reality television programming. I wrote an essay about the principles that played heavy in our decision to make this year's Trip The Light a uniquely ephemeral experience, just once.
It's not like I want this idea to catch on. Wealthy Theatre (where I work) has made its mark on sharing events freely and openly with the public courtesy of GRTV, creating a virtual archive of the community's arts, music, panel discussions and religious events. The ban on recording at this year's Trip The Light event is more of an homage to a time when gathering places - being together - were the only way to experience these precious moments.
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On one level, Trip The Light is what happens between 8-10 p.m. on Friday, May 6. End of story. And that, my friends, is quite sufficient.
But Trip is nothing short of a revolution. Original, live, local music and modern dance. Trip embodies a surging grassroots arts movement whose epicenter lies between East Hills and Eastown, where so many of Grand Rapids' live/work artists reside. ArtPeers (based on Wealthy Street) and Dance in the Annex (operating out of the Wealthy Theatre Annex) are just two parts of a diverse, unintentional collective - but something is happening here. Evolving, expanding and discovering, among other things, an urge to collaborate. Trip is a paradigm shift. The walls go tumbling down.
Of equal importance, Trip breaks new ground with an unprecedented compensation model. In a city where live/work artists often contribute without compensation to events, Trip returns 75% of all ticket receipts directly and equally to all the artists. Nothing on this level has been done. It's a statement about sustainable practices and what can be done to authentically support local artists. Not an end-all or be-all, but a step forward on a journey toward more meaningful ways to sustain local arts.
We invite you to see how this comes together. Live on a wire, one of the tightest productions ever to feature nearly a dozen bands, two dozen dancers, video, top-tier lighting, audio, transitions and the finest acoustics and ambience in the city - not to mention local draught beer available to CMC members (Founders, Bells, New Holland and more) plus wine and spirits.
The price is right, the tickets will sell out, and when this is over... it's gone, baby.
Disclosure: Erin Wilson is the President of ArtPeers (501c3) and Director at Wealthy Theatre, part of Community Media Center (CMC).
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