Theatre Ideas: Bill McKibben on Music in Iowa in 1900:
Imagine that: 1700 opera houses in Iowa alone in 1900 when the population of the United States was roughly 1/4 the size it is today. The idea that the arts require a large urban setting in order to survive is a recent prejudice that is brought into question by historical facts like that offered by Frank and McKibben. It might more accurately be stated that the current corporatized, globalized, business model that is built on the dream of fame and fortune rather than the art itself requires a large urban setting. Disconnected from that model, and reimagined on a local scale, other options may be possible.