Frame of Reference - Sauk County and Beyond

Amendment through Arts: Lindsey Giese

June 16, 2022 Season 4 Episode 3
Frame of Reference - Sauk County and Beyond
Amendment through Arts: Lindsey Giese
Show Notes Transcript

Art – the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated for their beauty or emotional power.  As I read that definition of today’s subject matter I am perplexed by two questions: 

  1. Given that Art allows us to express or apply something that is so uniquely human - why isn't everyone encouraged to explore their individual creativity?  I mean, isn't that as important as 2 + 2?
  2. Given that Art produces works of beauty and/or emotional power - shouldn't we be more careful about who uses it and for what purpose?

I look around at the myriad of Art mediums and the content expressed and at times I just feel overwhelmed.  Mainly because I see so much irresponsibility in the way the "vocabulary" of Art is used by folks that use it to accomplish an agenda that pits us against one another instead of uniting us. But that's because I'm an idealist and want Art to be used for its higher purposes of liberation and inspiration of our souls instead of as a tool to manipulate and influence our base instincts. 

Area residents may know Lindsey Giese as the Executive Director of River Arts Inc, a non-profit arts organization in Prairie du Sac, but prior to this role, she was the lead singer for Holland America and Celebrity Cruises.

She holds 2 Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in Music Theatre and Arts Administration and currently tours the Midwest with The Dang-Its in a review show entitled “Sweet Dreams and Honky Tonks.”

She is also a board member for the Sauk Prairie Area Chamber of Commerce and Friends of the Great Sauk State Trail.

Announcer:

Welcome to frame of reference informed intelligent conversations about the issues and challenges facing everyone in today's world, in depth interviews with salt counties, leaders and professionals to help you expand and inform your frame of reference, brought to you by the max f m digital network. Now, here's your host, Rauel LaBreche.

Rauel LaBreche:

Welcome to another edition. Yes, fourth season edition. This is fourth season now for frame of reference, folks, I am so excited about that. Because I get to now go back over the past three seasons and say, Okay, who are my best guests and invite them back again. And this person, I would have had to invite back whether she was a best guest or not because she's got the running record. At least you did. I'm wearing certain phones and I think now this will tie you for the most interviews on frame of reference, but it is none other than the one the only the amazing Lindsay Geesey, Executive Director of river arts Incorporated. Lindsay, thanks for being here.

Lindsey Giese:

Thank you so much. What an intro

Rauel LaBreche:

Well, you know, you know, me my theatre background, I when I can get excited with somebody and not totally freak them out. I will do that. And so and you have known me long enough now to know that it's just raw. And so not a big deal right now. Hopefully,

Lindsey Giese:

I live up to the hype here.

Rauel LaBreche:

Oh, it totally Well, we can start seeing our answers on questions, if that will help. We were doing that beforehand. Why not? Right? Absolutely. Okay, you're absolutely. You're much prettier voice than I do. So. If anyone can allow our listeners to sleep with a lullaby, you could

Lindsey Giese:

Why don't we do that when I get them excited? I'm excited about heart today. We're

Rauel LaBreche:

gonna do marches and Sousa here we come. Yes. Okay. Well, let's have you been good. Good. Yeah.

Lindsey Giese:

That's an interesting question. Isn't it? Isn't that you feel like it's changed when people ask like, how are you? How have you been? Like? Yeah, like, how do you get on more weight? Like, I can just say, I'm fine.

Rauel LaBreche:

Right. But that doesn't cut it anymore. Because we know no one is fine. You know, it's just if you're fine, that is like, the gray. Well, I'll be going now back to planet earth.

Lindsey Giese:

I'm fine, because I am a little loopy.

Rauel LaBreche:

But it's so true, isn't it? The old thing about if you can't laugh at yourself, either something wrong. And so you know

Lindsey Giese:

what, the weather has changed, it's getting warmer, outside more, that always helps. And I've got a pretty awesome job. So how can I not be fine?

Rauel LaBreche:

Well, you know, you would hope that you can see the positive and in spite of all the things that have come, and yet, I also, I always like the there's a phrase from Mark Twain, and I have to look up the book, it's actually short story. And it's this town where everything is wonderful. And people are just so friendly. And everyone is so perfect in every way. Right? And this guy comes into town, strangers, no one is known, and has the these treasure maps that have, you know, different pieces of the puzzle for where this treasure is. And then he you know, after he exposes what he has, of course, he's, you know, gone nowhere to be found. And the town just becomes totally obsessed with the treasure maps and who's got what information and who's found what and who's verified what and who hasn't. And so this idyllic town turns into this mess of people that are, you know, totally not trusting one another totally, you know, not, you know, all the camaraderie that they had is completely gone. It's every person for themselves. Yeah, he comes back and reveals that there never wasn't a treasure in the first place. But that he did that to reveal to them what their town was really like. And the quote that I love from that is he says, the weakest of all weak things, is a virtue not tested by fire. Well, isn't that just Mark Twain? All right, to be able to figure out that, yeah, we think things are just fine. And oh, we're just fantastic. And then you have something like COVID happened to your society and realize, you know, what, our virtuous American, you know, ideals that we touted ourselves as the United States of America, holy cow or anything, but

Lindsey Giese:

well, you know, I think it reveals both sides, it reveals the the ugly side of humans. But you know, there were some some positives to that came out of it. Yeah. You'd see the virtuous people and a lot of times within the same person. They can show both sides. People are complicated. Yeah.

Rauel LaBreche:

Well, in red, interesting, right. It's we realized, like the things that we need to work on, right. Hopefully, one of the things that can come out of it have some dialogue over I don't see it that way. How can you see it that

Lindsey Giese:

way? That's what I always hoped for, too. And that's sort of the disappointing part of social media these days because I think people use it as their die. dialogue, but they're hiding behind a computer screen with it. And so I don't think that it's a true conversation. It's like, well, I'm right, you're wrong. Almost always when it's done that way, but they like human interaction and like how we're sitting today and chatting, that I think you can dig deeper. And I also think people, there's a, there's a level of a filter that keeps kindness still a part of even when you're disagreeing. Right. There's some kindness a part of that conversation, right, that when you're just typing behind a screen, that kindness and how important kindness is,

Rauel LaBreche:

so what's the right yeah, you know, just civility?

Lindsey Giese:

The conversation is very important. Yeah.

Rauel LaBreche:

But it's one I will get to talk about arts and what part art plays and all that right, because that to me, art has always been the great unifier. And the great, you know, argument starters of dice is that that's not art. It's like well, I love those kinds of things. Yeah. Okay. So I get that that upsets you, you know, but you know, frankly, the artist was trying to get to you upset so that you would look at something you know. Anyways, well, we have so much to talk about. Let's start out with our favorite thing our favorite things right. And I'm there's always

Lindsey Giese:

something i How can somebody when they're met there's no wrong answer. Well, exactly.

Rauel LaBreche:

And it's totally worth shocking and first thing that comes even if three days from now you go oh my god, that's not my favorite, whatever. So it's okay Lindsay it's okay to

Lindsey Giese:

be dishonest. I need to be truthful with

Rauel LaBreche:

I get to just sing it and it'll be true. Okay, it will be true. Okay, favorite dog or cat breed?

Lindsey Giese:

Well, I have a Yorkie mix. Okay, I thought it was your Rambo Rambo horse. I

Rauel LaBreche:

have like a gorilla belt or something that he can wear. I mean don't you think a dog should have like all

Lindsey Giese:

of these got it camo he's got all

Rauel LaBreche:

I gotta see your dog and camo don't worry it for those of you that don't know Rambo is about what two inches long? And he thinks she's about 80 Probably.

Lindsey Giese:

Okay, so I'm gonna I'm gonna say Yorkie just

Rauel LaBreche:

kind of figured out a little love right? But he is your be all and end all protect her and companion and so will you always have your keys now? Do you think you'll be like Queen Elizabeth and there has to be a Yorkie or two in the house?

Lindsey Giese:

Um, I don't know Rambo might be the one and only

Rauel LaBreche:

after, where would you go? Exactly. I understand. I get it. How about and I don't know if I asked you this. I think I asked you favorite musical artists, artists. And that was a problem. Because you finally came up with something beyond Yeah, okay. You

Lindsey Giese:

have a good memory. So

Rauel LaBreche:

every once in a while. advice, don't ask me my wife's birthday. That would be I could temporary seven. But favorite song?

Lindsey Giese:

Do people have a favorite song?

Rauel LaBreche:

How would a favorite musical theater would be your job?

Lindsey Giese:

Yeah. 100%. He asked me anything about music theater, and

Rauel LaBreche:

I haven't have Hanson Did you see that movie?

Lindsey Giese:

I saw the movie. I just thought it overture. So I've seen it live three times, including the original in New York. I know.

Rauel LaBreche:

I've seen that though. How can you go see any other version of it wasn't that hard.

Lindsey Giese:

I can't say that anything has tapped to the original. But this is what I love about theater. Like every actor brings their own thing. And I've never left disappointed because there's so much talent out there. And sure I like their different interpretations of the characters. So I like and I movie movie versions of musicals will never be my favorite. I think stage versions are so different. Last, but I love that there that's made a comeback, you know, like there used to be tons of movie musicals. Right? Right. And then they kind of went away for a while.

Rauel LaBreche:

Look at West Side Story. Now, I don't know if you've seen the new Spielberg version of that. But completely different take in so many ways. And yet, it has adds a whole new layer to what that musicals about

Lindsey Giese:

and the firt like the 60s and 70s and 80s. Even like when like you saw a lot of those music. They were on the road. Yeah. And then there was like, kind of a quiet period. No,

Rauel LaBreche:

nobody was bothering. Yeah, yeah. And it's back. Yeah.

Lindsey Giese:

Yeah, there's some good stuff coming out. Yeah,

Rauel LaBreche:

there's a lot in there are some things I wish there were versions of like Pacific overtures. Is there even a version of Pacific overtures out there that

Lindsey Giese:

you could you know what I really love and they did this with Hamilton. They did it with rent. I like when they film the stage.

Rauel LaBreche:

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. That's how I first found out about Into The Woods was they had done that with Thank you.

Lindsey Giese:

Thank you, Danny Khan, school music teacher, he let us watch into the woods. Oh, my

Rauel LaBreche:

Lord. Yeah. Oh, you know, you see those kinds of things where they've spent some time figuring out the angles and you know, what shot should be used where and just, you know, marvelously done stuff.

Lindsey Giese:

And there's nothing wrong with the movie version, but it's something about seeing the stage version and just live theater in general. Just, you don't have all the fluff and all the stuff to cover. The acting everything like the music The talent like it's all just there it's raw. Right? It's incredible that when

Rauel LaBreche:

they have to do it they have to be able to do it now you know repeatedly now and you look at things like Sunday in the Park it was really impressive to me and how they handled like Bernadette Peters dress, you know now that just all opened up and she could step out of it kind of thing. You're like, wow, what masterful, you know, carpentry costume, you know, capabilities, technical capabilities to get that to work. Now, you know, not every community theater in the world is going to be able to do that. But you know, and seeing the flying elements of it, and it's

Lindsey Giese:

talking about another good show Mandy Patinkin oh gosh.

Rauel LaBreche:

Oh my lord. Yeah, see? Did you rabbit holy Mandy Patinkin to think of one of the made me fall in love with him more was after Stephen Sondheim died, he was quoted as saying the man who wrote my prayers the guy who wrote my prayers just died. Why if that makes such sense, coming from Mandy Patinkin because the songs he did you know were very much like prayers. You know, it's you know, not in the maybe the way we think of prayers normally, but they certainly touch on that communication with something way beyond us. Right. Those

Lindsey Giese:

prayers. Yeah,

Rauel LaBreche:

I mean, it's not like a Hail Mary or anything, you know, but anyways, Okay, how about favorite flower? I

Lindsey Giese:

kill plants. So the

Rauel LaBreche:

ones that you can mean anything are muted irises, Oh, whatever. I planted something.

Lindsey Giese:

So many at calla lilies. Really, really beautiful.

Rauel LaBreche:

Okay, any flower, girls petunias and roses.

Lindsey Giese:

I think all flowers are beautiful. You know what even give me a carnation any day. Those are the carnations I feel bad. They get a bad reputation do

Rauel LaBreche:

they do especially since since breakfast came along? So we digress. How about a favorite movie?

Lindsey Giese:

Well, now that we talked about Mandy Patinkin like Princess Bride in my head, okay, but I don't know. That's like the number one movie but I do. I did watch that quite a bit. Also, old school gypsy way back like it's an old one. I watched that probably a million million times. Mendler really? Good one. Okay, I haven't seen it.

Rauel LaBreche:

I would ship children to the original original Ethel Merman was right. So I don't know when you're this because I've actually seen in summer and I didn't realize I was just eating something IPs. So you find out about that guy that normally now

Lindsey Giese:

that I probably shouldn't have watched that when I was that little I mean, there's a little things mom and dad.

Rauel LaBreche:

That's okay. But theater people. That's gonna happen to you in the theater is

Lindsey Giese:

PG 13 probably I don't know and today's standards.

Rauel LaBreche:

Oh, okay. How about favorite actor or actress?

Unknown:

I think movies or theater

Rauel LaBreche:

anywhere anywhere. We have a broad based understanding.

Lindsey Giese:

I love so many Sutton Foster for sure is one of my top chefs. Because Sutton Foster Yep, she is you know 30 original Thoroughly Modern Millie. Frankenstein. Okay, a million things. Oh, and she's on a TV show. But the TV show?

Rauel LaBreche:

Yes. Well, we can't be Oh, well. So how about a favorite comfort food? Comfort food. Okay, we've talked about your favorite food food.

Lindsey Giese:

I mean anything and like the pasta family right? So you do like a mac and cheese have some barbecue sauce on it.

Rauel LaBreche:

With barbecue pizzas. Have you done that thing? Then?

Lindsey Giese:

I would rather the pasta version Mac. Okay, yeah.

Rauel LaBreche:

Cuz doesn't like Riviera has a mac and cheese pizza. Isn't that a thing? Now?

Lindsey Giese:

It is a thing. Yeah. Oh, I see what you said. Yeah, not just not like the like the new like, barbecue. Not that that's bad. But like something like hearty for sure. But like, I don't know this concept of comfort food. But if you give me a block of cheese, that that's all I need. All right. Tara Brach.

Rauel LaBreche:

Should be a change. Like, sort of a restaurant should be black or cheese. So all the Wisconsinites would come. What would you like Brocker cheese do Q What are smorgasbord? Or do you want this specific? Jeez. Oh, give me anything. I'll take the mystery cheese, whatever it may be. Yeah. Well, that's in French you know that. Remember the only time I've been in Paris we we would go out for breakfast and breakfast was a block of cheese and a baguette. You know, and that was I guess, prepares. Yeah, that's all you needed. Really add your protein. You had your dairy. You had your bread. Good. How about a favorite quality in a friend?

Lindsey Giese:

Wow, this is a deep One, it's just

Rauel LaBreche:

the one that I really try to get at. When you think about what's the thing good friends,

Lindsey Giese:

let me I'm gonna try to think about all of them. They're good people.

Rauel LaBreche:

There's something that when you find out about somebody, or even sometimes I think with really good friends, it takes time to really realize that. Why am I always opening up to you? Oh, it's because

Lindsey Giese:

So what my I keep going back to because there's so many qualities, but is the people who are the most genuine. I think that you trust them, you'll trust them with everything. They're genuinely kind, and they care about you and your well being and you get past all that fluff of I don't know, like, are they mad at me for this? Or Did I upset them about this? Or vice versa? Or whatever? Like, you don't have to worry about that. Because when you just have a genuine friend you just really solid,

Rauel LaBreche:

right? Yeah, right. There's yeah, there's none of the game playing or the I've got an agenda that you're not addressing.

Lindsey Giese:

I do think as you get older to your friendships, they morph into that, and they just become more solid because you get rid of some of like, the insecurities of when you're younger or, or the competitiveness like even among friends, like, you have that when you're younger. And you know, some of you can just enjoy each other's company.

Rauel LaBreche:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, it's there. You know, as I have gotten older, which is a weird thing, because I don't feel older, except certain joints sometimes. But no, you know, the chaste young I gosh, I hope so. So, about a you know, you think about how as things age, like cheese, you know, the better cheese in my mind is the older cheese because it has more flavor. But you also kind of get rid of a lot of the like said fluff. And I think the people I would totally agree with your thing. genuineness, authenticity, transparency, that we're not hiding behind what we think we ought to be or expecting others to be something they're not. But just and I also think there's a kind of, I'm genuinely interested in you, you know, instead of just Mee Mee Mee Mee Mee Mee Mee Mee Mee Mee Mee Me, me, me. So, you know, the folks that you they can't wait to get back to talking about themselves. That gets harder and harder as I get older. I just feel like I don't have enough time left to do that with my time. So thank you for being the kind of friend that I still enjoy having

Lindsey Giese:

a good listener. You know,

Rauel LaBreche:

we have to be Yeah. What's that? Stephen Covey of all people as a quote that I love. It's, most people listen, with the intent to reply. Instead of the intent to understand bicep boy, we should teach like politicians, anyone that's going to be in leadership at all should be taught that and have to evidence it in their daily behavior before they're allowed to lead. Because so much of what's going on now is just a result people not listening.

Lindsey Giese:

Their brains are let's just attack attack. Okay, yeah. What's the next right move?

Rauel LaBreche:

How can I make you wrong? Instead of how can I understand why you believe what you believe? You know, because it everybody came to that belief for a reason. Mostly, I'm sometimes you wonder, but okay, why

Lindsey Giese:

the genuine before we get our last one? So like, I kind of like stumbled on the just the general, how are you question at the beginning of the interview, and I think that goes back to, like, I'm searching to be as genuine as I can be. And so I don't want to throw away with friends or with you, or with anyone, if they say, how are you? Like, I gotta dig deep? And like, what is the like, Is it fine? Where, what's the, what am I feeling? And I think that that's good for everybody to do. Because I think, even if you're not having a good day, if you can say that and figure out what it is why you're not having a good day, you can move through it and then end up with a good day at the end of it.

Rauel LaBreche:

Why? You know, that's how it seemed like, if you're asking that question, you ought to be prepared for a real answer. Like, sometimes we just do away questions. Yeah. And I always feel like, well, like I want to answer do you really want to know?

Lindsey Giese:

Yeah. Well, in during the thick of COVID. I know, you know, it's not over yet, but in like 2020 That question got asked all the time. It's like, how do you even really answer that comes anyone gonna answer it without of like, a 10 minute story?

Rauel LaBreche:

And shouldn't we have enough time for that? You know, wouldn't that be better to spend our time doing that than, you know, figuring up on a new meme that you know, makes me feel good for two seconds or whatever? Because we spend our time on a lot of weird things sometimes. I I'm okay, I'm gonna ask you one last Oh, sorry.

Lindsey Giese:

I'm guilty of it I go, you know? Well, it's like fast food

Rauel LaBreche:

versus a good meal, right? Which is more satisfying, you know? Well, the one I'm just hungry and I don't have time. The other one is boy got to do that more often. Right? So how about a favorite historical figure, somebody that you look to for like, as kind of a muse, if you will, somebody that you emulate and think, Boy, that person is so weird

Lindsey Giese:

this question.

Rauel LaBreche:

I've been thinking, since I knew we had to have new, like, level of questions for you, Lindsay. I can't just go to the same old who is yours? My favorite? Yeah. Oh, gosh, I have a lot of different ones. I would have, I think, overall, probably Eleanor Roosevelt. Okay. And it wasn't until recent times, I probably would have said Abraham Lincoln. But as I years ago, but as I've gotten to know more about Lincoln's life, and you, I think part of what he made him great was situations that are hard for me to understand today, you know, and some of the things that I thought were his greatest accomplishments were actually somewhat duplicitous, so that I get it. But Eleanor Roosevelt just has struck me as such a high class person in so many ways, and she was so personally devastated by so many things in her life. And yet, beyond all of that, she was able to come up with words to live by that our soul like what the one something about no one can, no one can basically take away your self esteem without your consent, you know, of being a person that was able to constantly lift people up to being their best selves possible, and then to write the kinds of things you did with the United Nations. And, I mean, just, you know, and when you think of a woman in that timeframe, even even more superhuman, you know, in my brain, for a person to do that, to be that compassionate, that understanding that, that desirous of understanding others and, and caring, being empathetic for others when, in her social class, you know, she was, you know, noblesse oblige, in the best sense of that phrase, I think, not that there aren't others. But I'm just as I become more aware of Eleanor Roosevelt, and really, she she had it together

Lindsey Giese:

like that. I don't know that I could name just one. I think that I am less historically thinking and more forward thinking, if that makes sense. Like, I'm excited about people like Amanda Gorman, who spoke at the inauguration. Yes, so young people like that. I'm excited for how they will make a change in the future. Okay. versus looking back. I'm there's are a lot of people who helped us get where we are today. Sure. But I think because I'm not a super proud of where we are today in certain aspects. Forward Thinking and hopeful,

Rauel LaBreche:

admirable, you'll accept Is it a shutdown? Okay, let's, let's turn it back to the audience. What do you also

Lindsey Giese:

it's scary to pinpoint like a historical figure, because like, kind of, like you said, like, you uncover things about people that in? It's hard to know, Well, I never know what's written publicly. And,

Rauel LaBreche:

yeah, history belongs to the victors in most cases, you know, that's written by the victors. But I, you know, I think what's helped me is to look at history more, I'm a history geek in some ways. And I find that it's really helpful to remember the history and remember the people that are responsible for our history, because that when you like, think of history in high school, boring borrowers. And it shouldn't be I think history should be one of the most exciting things that's taught to people because if you really can bring it alive to this is what was going on. This is why the civil rights movement is so incredible. This is why Dr. King is so incredible, in forget about the other stuff that's questionable. Look at what was going on, you know, that kind of thing. That's where it really clicked for me. And that's Eleanor Roosevelt. I'm saying, you know, the, when you think of the time period she was in, when you think of the husband that she had, you know, for her to still rise above all that gives me great hope for what our leaders can be and shouldn't be, right. So we can demand that. You know, can

Lindsey Giese:

I also say Celine Dion for every answer? I use is still alive and well but cook and I just love her that much.

Rauel LaBreche:

Personal story is Pretty incredible

Lindsey Giese:

edible and I have never heard a bad story about her like she seems like a really good human being. Yeah, yeah.

Rauel LaBreche:

Oh, is she? This is totally off the track but she doesn't look healthy when I've seen her lately.

Lindsey Giese:

She's canceled some tours and things she's had some back issues when she's got some health stuff going on but she's still thin she was like fit though. She was doing ballet work.

Rauel LaBreche:

Oh, so she has a ballet body dancin and Okay, yeah,

Lindsey Giese:

I mean, I don't know if there's other like stuff going on. But I see her before right before COVID And oh my goodness, that woman is fit super

Rauel LaBreche:

duper energy so fit and muscular back injury Melia. That makes sense. Sure. All right, folks. My guest today is Lindsey Geesey, the executive director of river arts Inc, in town here with a global impact. That's just the top County and beyond. But we're gonna take a quick break to hear a word from our sponsors and come back and dig into the meat of things here, as we look at issues of art and all kinds of other stuff. So don't go anywhere. We'll be right back here. frame of reference and 99 Seven Max FM's digital network.

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Rauel LaBreche:

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Rauel LaBreche:

And we're back here on frame of reference, my guest today is the one the only the impossible to describe in one word or less. Lindsay Geesey, who is our Executive Director, Hoover arts, and she has been a friend and colleague and someone I admired so much in so many ways for so long. And she is just as wonderful a person as you could actually ask for an art director. And I think that's because your farm girl and her you're still you know, yeah, you have not forgotten the basics of human understanding and human connection. But if

Lindsey Giese:

you had to describe me in one word or less,

Rauel LaBreche:

Oh, you want to talk about tough ones. Okay? I'm just gonna go gorgeous. Okay, I'll go with gorgeous, because that can be more than just physical. It's just, it's one of those we're looking at up wondering. Anyways. So Lindsey, whenever we get together, it's always about art. I mean, it's got to be both art in some ways. Let's just do to wrap up this episode, let's focus on COVID. And what has happened as a result of COVID, because that we can dive into the next part of this in episode two, in just what's going on now. And what what art can do is doing to revitalize us to get us back to where, you know, we were in then some before the pandemic hit, but last time we talked, we were in the thick of it. I mean, it was really hitting things hard, you were looking at ways to, you know, turn to virtualization as much as possible. So at least we could keep artists going to some extent, and keep the arts experience going to some extent. So it was a lot of live theory with Bev Kelly doing a live performance at the river arts but was, you know, video dispersed or

Lindsey Giese:

Yeah, we did a few live streams. Live Stream. Yeah. Center with no audience and gosh, it like it was fulfilling for me because I was the audience member getting to witness this amazing show. Right. But you forget like that, that silence between pieces, right? Is it's just sad. Yeah. And it's not just that, like applause. It makes you rethink like, what that applause does. It's not just for the performers. Like it's like the audience coming together to celebrate beauty and like, wonderful, everyone, you're watching without that and you want not even it's probably not even the applause. But to just watch something like that alone was just not the same experience.

Rauel LaBreche:

Well, I don't think there would be an artist in the world that would say that was that's an okay. I mean, there's one thing to do studio recording and you do that for the control aspect of having the piece views, you know, well manicured, as well, you know, contrived as possible. But when you're in a performance situation, that energy that's going on constantly between the performer and the audience. It makes each performance unique, right? To some extent. Yeah. So

Lindsey Giese:

we did it. it that was one I mean, we I'm very proud to because the supreme Chamber of Commerce awarded river arts Inc with the pivot award last year, because we did is a live events type of organization, we pivoted our programming to two different things. And two live streams were one of the ways that we did that to still offer arts programming to our community. And a lot of that, you know, that's not unique, a lot of places, a lot of organizations and a lot of just musicians on their own word, going on YouTube or Facebook and, and having weekly shows. We did, as much as we could with public art kinds of things. We were doing curbside pickup of our art and online auctions. And I did a little not not of this caliber of a podcast, but I did a thing called

Rauel LaBreche:

this sort of thing takes extreme professionalism.

Lindsey Giese:

Exactly. We call them coffee chat. So you know, basically just chatting with friends, I

Rauel LaBreche:

did one of those with you. Turn the tables in my living room or dining room or something. Yeah,

Lindsey Giese:

that was fun. And just a way for people to get to know each other because I think that connection is important. Christina, who is the gallery and studio manager for river arts, Inc. She did like a craft corner. So she did like a little craft project you could do from home with things that you probably had at your house or

Rauel LaBreche:

Sewing With Nancy come.

Lindsey Giese:

Cool. Lot of this stuff still up on our website, if you're curious about it, and interviews with our artists and our board members. And so we just we just took a deep dive into different things.

Rauel LaBreche:

So did you do you think there was a difference between the organizations that were able to pivot like that, and those that were not,

Lindsey Giese:

I think the big difference, we are going to realize now in the next year or two because we stayed. We were there, with and for our community still. And so we stay top of mind. And we didn't have a lapse in being a place that people think of fondly. And so now that we're doing more programming, again, I think that we're going to see our audience come back stronger than ever. And I think that the organizations who didn't pivot and so in, you know, I don't say that negatively, because some of them didn't have an option to

Rauel LaBreche:

write, or they didn't have a board that would work with them to do it

Lindsey Giese:

couldn't get the funding that they needed to. I mean, there's a lot of reasons why places did just shut down for a year or two. But we were able to do other things. And so but I think those places that had to shut down, it's going to be harder for them to get back to where they were pre COVID. Sure. Because they were gone for a little while,

Rauel LaBreche:

while staffing has sometimes moved on to other places. And yeah, I sometimes wonder, too, if there, there was a difference fundamentally, between the people that said, Oh, we just can't do anything now, versus the people that said, Well, what can we do? You know, how can we do this differently? So there's kind of a fundamental difference in terms of how people approach life. And art is life in a lot of ways. So if you have the attitude of, you know, because of this horrible thing that happened, and I can't do anything about it, versus the Well, no, I can't do anything about that. But I can do something about this. Yeah. So I'm focusing on that. To me, that's kind of the difference between a artistic mindset and a non artistic mindset. Really,

Lindsey Giese:

you know, I think, yeah, for sure. We had an advantage of being creative. So and there just wasn't the option to shut down and not do anything. I mean, my my dad and I were out there. We built a little stage. So we could have outdoor concerts last year, right? Anything goes. So you get you have to get creative. And Sure.

Rauel LaBreche:

Of course, Dad wants to spend time with his daughter anyway. So that was like a win win. Right? Yeah,

Lindsey Giese:

we had we had a great time. Yeah. So now we have to redo the stage because it didn't weather very well. And this Wisconsin winter, but now we'll have another project. Yes.

Rauel LaBreche:

Exactly. So there's always a win in here. What about so a lot of it was a lot of economic pressure to when I think of like Broadway closing down, you know, and all those people that were just out of work and not just the actors and actresses, all the technical staff all of the designing staffs, you know, that were just no paycheck. And that's been hard and yet it seemed when that did start to reopen that people were so hungry for it again, that it came up pretty quickly, right? Yeah. Although we had to shut down for a while because there was a big spike again with with Omicron right. Yeah, it's how's it responding? Do you see that

Lindsey Giese:

volatile? Um, what I am seeing is it's an organization focus. So for us it was important to stay open to still sell our local artists art because they are pen to pen Hang on it to still hire musicians in different ways, like any way that we can. We are lucky, really lucky, because we did get other funding, but especially from our local sponsors, like local businesses, who continue to support us so that we could still have a show at the river Art Center. But because we were only able to sell 100 tickets, we can still do that. Because those 100 people would benefit. And we could suffer a like what you would consider technically a loss on having that event. Sure. Because we were still there were enough people in our community who thought that this was still important enough to help us be able to do that. That makes sense, right?

Rauel LaBreche:

So Angel Network, essentially, right? Yeah, and even going forward

Lindsey Giese:

probably for a while, we have to budget in a way that could potentially be a loss. Overall, if you're looking, it depends on what again, that term loss means different things to different people. If we're looking at just what our ticket sales would make, for example, like, we have to be able to be okay, doing the show at a loss, because it's important for us to get back on our feet, it's important for us to pay the musicians, it's important for us for the 50 people who can make it to the show that they need this experience. So we want to offer it to them, it's also really important for us to have safe opportunities to so we don't want to ever do anything that that is going to put the world in harm, or especially our community and in harm's way.

Rauel LaBreche:

Yeah, that would be bad. Right? So and that calm and

Lindsey Giese:

that cost a lot of money to to plan things and to be flexible with your planning to continue to have safety as Top of Mind versus how many butts Can I get in seats, right? So that definite shift of mentality because that all like even, we just redid some strategic planning. I'm like, I don't know that I feel comfortable. Normally, we'd have like an X number of seats that we want to fill for every show. And then you keep upping that as your goal because the ultimate goal is always to sell out. Oh, my goodness, like now since COVID. It's like no, not my goal is not to sell out the theater.

Rauel LaBreche:

Right? I don't there are other my goal. Yeah. Right. And it becomes there's an ethical consideration that we've never had to make before because you always had make your nut that was just make you're not or you're not going to be around. But you know, think about enough people who've risen to the top to say this is important enough that we don't want that pressure to be a part of your programming. I had this idea of I don't know why my brain is the way it is. But Cogsworth going around and sort of singing, br guess it's like, be infected, be infected come to worship be infected. So that would be that'd be a different version. So yeah, we

Lindsey Giese:

don't want that one.

Rauel LaBreche:

What about the the overall artistic economy? Are we recovering? recovered? still too early to tell? I mean, will it be what it was before will be better than it was before anything? Or have we lost things that we may not never get back?

Lindsey Giese:

That is under a lot of questions on their roll. Your person in me wants us to come back better than ever? I think we are. I think we're on the way out. But we're still in it. And I think that answer of like better than before, whatever. If you look at collective collectively, like the whole nation in the world even I think we're we're getting closer. There has been we're really lucky there has been funding, government funding. And that has been vital. I will say like, well, without a doubt without the state and federal funding that the arts received. So many businesses would just be closed and not able to recover. So that has been really helpful. There's still a little ways to go there. But I'm seeing a lot of places are opened up. But then I'm also seeing like things in New York now like they are on the verge of potentially shutting down or going back to some restrictions for a little bit and that we might ride that wave for a while where you have to be ready for it. Like when as I'm looking at contracts for performers for next year. We have to think about that. We have to look at that and the contract language has changed. Now they're starting to say, you know, there's this thing called force majeure. That's like, if it's an act of God, you can get out of a contract, but otherwise, too bad. You got to pay us. Now there's even like in there, which COVID which is a pandemic, what falls under that clause. But now there's like clauses that are like the, the mere existence of COVID doesn't count as a force majeure in the future. And so like, so it puts us all in like these, like, well, it's not gone yet.

Rauel LaBreche:

So like, right, how

Lindsey Giese:

do we do this?

Rauel LaBreche:

Right? How do we specify what there are like with outdoor concerts? There are rules about lightning and how how close lightning can strike within curtain time or whatnot. So you think about it's probably going to have to COVID is going to be lightning claws. But yeah,

Lindsey Giese:

so things are changing. I feel hope Full, I think I know from the shows that we've been able to have this year that the audience's have needed it, the energy in the room is great. So I feel a different energy. As we get back to the shows, I hope that that sticks around and it doesn't get taken for granted. How important live music has been. So I don't know. I think we're still too close to I think we're still too close to it yet to say in verse eight on the national level, I think we're going to make a recovery. Yes, on on individual levels. There are a lot of places that closed down,

Rauel LaBreche:

not a communities that art centers for the most part have been okay. And they're not like civic centers and the like, or is that not the case?

Lindsey Giese:

I think so. Yeah, from what I'm seeing, like some, especially the bigger ones, I think some of the little guys who just didn't even know where to turn for help. They struggled the most. And sometimes those little guys are like the best theater experiences. Yeah.

Rauel LaBreche:

Yeah. Yeah. Cuz they come in,

Lindsey Giese:

I want yeah, it's coming back. You look at I would say what our closest big organization is, is probably overture. And they're they're having shows again, but they've also had some canceled. Yeah. Yeah. It's called maybe it's not even government mandate or something. But it's the cast has COVID are like they're experiencing

Rauel LaBreche:

that there was one not too long ago where they had to cancel because six of the actors, actresses,

Lindsey Giese:

and again, I don't I I know them over there. But it's I'm not I don't want to speak on their behalf. But I know they did get some government funding, but they also people love what they do. And so we're depending on their big supporters to help get them through. I'm sure that they're having some losses compared to other years. But they're, they have some people stepping up to help out. So. So there is hope. There's I think there's hope. There's hope

Rauel LaBreche:

and determination, probably more than anything is I had well, if we didn't

Lindsey Giese:

give up yet. There's no stopping us now. Exactly. We keep talking about that. We're like we've got your rainy day fund. And I'm like, Well, I think we made it through a

Rauel LaBreche:

rainy man through a monsoon season. For goodness sake. This isn't just a rainy day fund.

Lindsey Giese:

We all can get through this.

Rauel LaBreche:

Come on kids. Let's put on a show. Yeah, we have to have that attitude or will be on to us. So folks, my guest through this episode, and next week's episode is Lindsay Geesey, who is our local Executive Director for river arts Incorporated, which is a state wide known entity in the arts business. So anyone who's anyone knows about river arts and thinks I want to be like them when I grow up. So but in its I think a good part of it is due to little lady sitting across the desk from me, we're going to take a quick break to hear another word from our sponsors. We'll be back with a close up for this episode. But next week, we're going to continue this talk even further and talk about all the things that are to be hopeful for him to plan for and why you ought to give a darn in the first place. Okay, I'll just be some of the things we've talked about. So don't go anywhere. We'll be right back. You're on frame of reference and 99 Seven Max FM's digital network there's never

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Rauel LaBreche:

Art, the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form, such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated for their beauty, or emotional power. As I read that definition of today's subject matter, I'm perplexed by two questions. One, given that art allows us to express or apply something that is so uniquely human, why isn't everyone encouraged to explore their individual creativity? And to given that art produces works of beauty and or emotional power? Should we be more careful about who uses it? And for what purpose? I look around at the myriad of art mediums and content expressed, and I sometimes just feel overwhelmed. Mainly because I see so much irresponsibility in the way the vocabulary of art is used by those folks that want to accomplish an agenda that pits us against one another instead of uniting us. But that's because I'm an idealist. And I want art to be used for its higher purposes of liberation and inspiration, rather than as a tool to manipulate and influence as our world becomes more complex and stressed. We all need tools to help us survive and thrive is an art one of the best tools for that sort of work. Movies, books, paintings, theater and dance. All can transport us to better places or they can weigh us down with dystopian discouragement. I hope you can join us next week as we continue to explore more about how Lindsey and other artists are working towards the former. Until then, stay well.