Sunday, January 5, 2003

Tall Stacks rolls back

Shaping culture in 2003


Riverboats will be the main reason people make their way to the Riverfront Oct. 15-19 for Tall Stacks 2003. But this time, there'll be more music competing with the boat whistles. It's the first year for the Tall Stacks Music, Arts & Heritage Festival, an event that organizers hope can do for Cincinnati what the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival has done for the Big Easy.

Mike Smith, who earned his stripes managing Riverbend with the Nederlander organization, is behind the festival as the head of Music and Event Management Inc. (MEMI), a new venture by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

He envisions a more dynamic Tall Stacks, one that will draw young music fans and baby boomers and their kids. Spinning off Cincinnati's history as a musical river town, Mr. Smith plans a festival featuring national, regional and local acts, ranging from blues and heartland rock to Dixieland and bluegrass.

The timing is right, as roots music spreads beyond the hard-core faithful to young jam-band crowds and the massive mainstream on the heals of the soundtrack from the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? As a result, Mr. Smith and Tall Stacks are in a unique position to create an event that will have a distinctly local feel and a broad national appeal.

25 forces that will shape culture in 2003
1. The big economic squeeze
2. Clear Channel's dominance
3. Suburbanites: Will they roam?
4. The plea for racial healing
5. The media's message
6. A whole new ball game
7. Edgy art center opening
8. Tall Stacks rolls back
9. Will tourists go home happy?
10. How Fine Arts Fund carries clout
11. You can't fight City Hall
12. Laura Long: Downtown force
13. The CSO's growing empire
14. Rosenthals' big impact
15. Northern Kentucky development
16. Museum Center's main man
17. Lobbyist Weiland
18. UC at crossroads
19. The Nederlanders make a comeback
20. MidPoint: Rebuild the city on rock 'n' roll
21. The Schuster Center alternative
22. Another public art project goes to bat
23. The brain drain
24. Local film community gains focus
25. Dancing around visa problems
The wild card of 2003: War
2003 dates to keep in mind

DEMALINE: The arts
KENDRICK: Alive & Well
Get to it!