all photos courtesy of Tracy Baynes and Patrick McArdle.
We’re lucky to have some really great performing arts groups here in Tucson, and several of them constellate at the studio space known as Rhythm Industry Performance Factory, located at 1013 S. Tyndall ave. As Karen Falkenstrom, co-founder of Odaiko Sonora puts it, Rhythm Industry is an “arts incubation space”, a place where performance is created and rehearsed, but also a place of teaching and learning where you (yes, YOU!) can train in a variety of creative disciplines such as dance, mime, drumming, stilt-walking, poi-spinning, aerial silks and more.
Rhythm Industry is one of the few artist-owned studios in southern Arizona and operates as a collective. Odaiko Sonora, Batucaxe, Flam Chen Pyrotechnic Theater, Tucson Circus Arts, Thom Lewis Dance, Theatrical Mime Theatre, Movement Salon, Lois Black Ballet and Jodi Netzer all call Rhythm Industry home and share in the various responsibilities of upkeep there, with many other groups making use of the studio on a part-time basis throughout the year.
It’s important for performing artists like these to have a great space like Rhythm Industry with ample room for activity and storage in which to practice their craft, and it’s all the better when they’re able to participate in that space together. Not only is it a practical benefit for them all to pool resources on the ongoing costs needed to maintain 5000 square feet of studio, but there’s also an intangible kind of
support gained from sharing a space that pays off in the creative energies of mutual inspiration.
And it’s important for us too, having them here, because from them, we gain inspiration as well. The public expression of their art provides an important service for us all. They aren’t mere “entertainers”; in their works, they help us to see something special, about Life and about ourselves. The gift that comes to us through them is a lasting one that can keep on giving beyond the moment of performance by showing what is possible, by rousing our wonder, and by encouraging us to make the most of our potential.
The folks at Rhythm Industry are enabled to continue their pursuits in large part through our support, and the more we support them, the more they’re enabled. Many of them offer us free shows around town throughout the year, as well as giving tremendously of themselves toward the nurture of our community All Souls Procession. If you appreciate what they do for us, you can show your support and give back by paying to see them when they appear at local venues. And if you haven’t had a chance yet to experience the groups that comprise the Rhythm Industry collective, keep an eye on their websites for show schedules or subscribe to their email lists and do come out to see them sometime. In this way, the giving becomes reciprocal, and by giving to them, we give back to ourselves. The Old
Pueblo would be a far less lively and engaging place without them!
You can also give them support by coming out for the quarterly Review of its resident performers that Rhythm Industry hosts (2nd Saturdays of Sept/Dec/Mar/Jun), made for interacting informally with audiences, displaying works in progress, providing students with an opportunity for recital, and generating feedback for the artists. The Review is also a way for all the groups to work together on raising funds to keep the studio going, as well as a means for each group to attract a larger, broader audience, new students and prospective donors. 90% of all donations at each Review contribute to paying mortgage on the studio, with the remaining 10% helping to fund a participating group’s project (for instance, $200 was donated to last year’s All Souls Procession in the fall, and $150 helped pay for the recent Tucson Carnaval ’09).
And if you’ve ever had a dream of expressing your own creativity through the performance arts or think that the learning of such skills and the discipline involved could enhance what you already do in some way (and they most certainly can), then consider taking advantage of the amazing resources available there. Many kinds of classes are offered at the Rhythm Industry studio (including chi-gung and martial arts). Get in touch with them and find out about all they have to offer.
SUPPORT LOCAL CREATIVE ACTION!