Food (and poetry) for the soul

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Thoreau said that if a pine couldn't be a tree, then poetry was its highest and best use. St. Teresa's congregation outgrew their lovely old church, but a performance hall is surely the highest and best use now.

Brewery Arts Center threw a big gala at their new performance hall on Saturday night. We anticipated a perfect night to end that perfect windless day. Master of Ceremonies Tim Morsani said it well when he told the packed crowd that the building had been serving "soul food" for 140 years. The opening of the performance hall is an important step for Brewery Arts and for all of us. Many of us human souls do need art in the same way we need love and literature and companionship. Nothing touches us like a live performance or an exquisite sculpture, poem, or painting.

When we recruit new businesses or host guests, they have no trouble detecting the pride we have in our arts community. Brewery Arts epitomizes that pride and inspires us with their vision. The campus master plan developed for the space between the Brewery Arts Center and the performance hall -- across Minnesota Avenue -- is something to anticipate.

This project helps us imagine the future of this area and downtown. This hopeful future has more pedestrian spaces, lovely plazas, even more shopping and restaurants, and visitors from far and wide drawn to downtown. It is the true soul of the city. The arts community can be a catalyst to a great future.

The night was, as expected, perfect. Piano, opera, ballet, tap, musical theater, dance, and poetry were all performed by and for community members. The acoustics were wonderful for even our back row seat. The perfect symmetry of the windows and inspiring art on the high ceilings added much to the experience.

If Brewery Arts intended to strut their stuff in the new venue, they did so perfectly. St. Teresa's encore performance revealed her highest and best use for our time. We hope each of you will attend a performance in the newly reinvigorated hall, support the good people of Brewery Arts, and feed your soul.


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