After coming back from a city full of interesting people – foreigners, lolita girls, otaku’s, salarymen, death metal musicians, seniors, gangsters, students business owners, comedians, housewives, etc. – I was prepared for a land of dullness when I came back to Chillicothe.
In a big city like Tokyo, it is easy to take diversity for granted. It accounts for 10% of Japan’s total population, not to mention that it draws around 7 million visitors each year. Just in the university that I attended alone, about 8% of the student population composed of international students from over 90 countries.
So when I came back to Chillicothe, I was ready to be the only minority in the town. Surprisingly, on my first day back, I met a woman in Fayette county who told me about how she admired the Chillicothe downtown area, and the marvelous work that the small business owners did to keep the city alive and interesting. When I pressed to hear more, she mentioned about an impressive exhibition opening that she went to celebrate her artist friend’s work. “Where was that gallery that you went?” I asked. “The one on Water Street,” she said.
And she was right about how impressive the gallery was. When I attended the August gallery stroll at the PVG, I immediately felt at ease and excited to see a community of people talking to each other while enjoying art, live music, and food. What surprised me was not only the number of people who were present, but also the mix of people. There were students, people of different races, people from other cities, teachers, artists, musicians, business owners, dancers, veterans and couples. It is such an honor to be involved in a gallery that unites people and values staying open to everyone. As they they in Austin, Texas, let’s “KEEP CHILLICOTHE WEIRD.”
Posted by Connie