If there is one single complaint I hear most often - it is why don't organizations work together to schedule their events to better serve the public? It seems it is always feast or famine when it comes to arts and entertainment. The next 8 days will see local theater companies opening 9 plays. Then there will be little community theater available until the end of November or early December. People wonder - why does everyone have to open at the same time and limit the audience for each event?
One group that has been very good about respecting turf has been the monthly public arts gatherings that take place in various cities in the area. Troy holds Troy Night Out on the last Friday of every month. Albany has First Friday on the first Friday of every month and Arts Night is held in Schenectady on the third Friday of the month. This way no city interferes with another and the public can attend all three - should anyone care to do so.
Tomorrow night - the three groups will each hold their event on the same night. It turns out each gave up their Friday identity as Oct. 14 is the second Friday of the month of October - the one Friday of the month not used for an arts gathering (hint, hint to Saratoga Springs).
The reason for this is a sign of unity is support of MoHu, the 9-day festival designed to bring attention to all the cultural opportunities that exist in our region. By having the streets of Troy, Albany and Schenectady filled with artists, entertainers and participants it is clear visual sign of an area that has a vital core of cultural opportunity.
I doubt that a person would would two cities, and three is impossible - so the choice is to pick one. I'm not certain how this helps any one group or expand their audience. Perhaps it will bring out people who have never attended an arts night or revitalize those who have started to take the events for granted and stopped going
At any rate it is a sign that the organizers of arts events can work together. And that alone is a good thing.