In the first 20 or so years of my life, the main innovations in entertainment were cable TV, home video with VCRs and the compact disc. Since I moved to Lexington in 1998, home video has gone from tape to DVD to Blu-ray to streaming and downloading. CDs gave way to the iPod and iTunes to now streaming where, for a monthly fee, a variety of services will let you download almost anything recorded.
Cutting the cord is now the hip thing to do with cable, CDs make great coasters, and I do not currently have an operating VCR in my home.
And we haven't even talked about the Internet and smartphones, except tangentially. It is a very different world than it was even when today's high school seniors were born.
But some things remain constant and irreplaceable, and experiencing the arts live is one of them.
There is still nothing like experiencing a performing artist or an artwork in person with others who cared enough to come out.
This struck me when I came home the other night, and
We were seeing him unfiltered by a camera, breathing the same air, feeling the same energy, watching this artist perform just yards away from us. No HD, massive flat screen with surround sound system would come close to replicating that. Yes, it is great to have video and technology to bring those experiences to us when they are not available within a short drive -- though some of the most dedicated fans have been known to travel great distances to see their favorites.
But when the artists are close, we gotta go.
And that's what this section you have in your hands, printed in what I like to call the Herald-Leader's classic format, is all about.
It's about getting you there, helping you make plans and helping you appreciate all this region has to offer.
Even before I moved here, I heard from and about naysayers who said there was no culture in Lexington, nothing going on. And it was not too much later I started replying, "If nothing is going on here, why am I so busy?"
And this beat has only gotten busier in the 21st century. If we looked at the 1998-99 arts preview, a lot of the names and faces and addresses would be different. But that makes it exciting. This year, we will see
So get out your calendars and red pens -- or open up your online calendar -- and start planning for those events you just can't miss.
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