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Editorial: Reinventing Rock the Park beneficial move for all involved

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The Columbus Area Arts Council made a bold decision not to have its popular Rock the Park fundraiser concert this year. But it was the correct one.

Arts Council members realized that they were looking at the same headliner acts that Our Hospice of South Central Indiana was considering for its free, annual fundraiser concert, which is Aug. 30.

Given that Rock the Park and the Hospice concert have been separated by just two weeks, the Arts Council determined that the events would duplicate and compete with each other. So, Rock the Park is on hiatus while the council assists with Hospice’s concert and takes time to reinvent its own fundraiser.

That decision should be commended for several reasons.

Last year’s paid-admission concert with REO Speedwagon marked the sixth edition of Rock the Park, which has grown in popularity. The most recent two Rock the Park concerts each drew about 7,000 people. Giving up a good fundraiser like this, even for just one year, is a significant sacrifice.

It’s also significant that the Arts Council is lending resources to Hospice to ensure that its concert is a success. That’s a selfless act.

In the end, both organizations are likely to be better for this decision, which complements each other rather than competing.

Hospice will continue with its longstanding fundraiser — started in 1986 — that more recently has attracted classic rock bands. That will serve one demographic.

The Arts Council is considering focusing on up-and-coming groups, which would serve a younger demographic and give the event a chance to develop a unique identity.

An added benefit could be the ability to showcase Columbus’ downtown anchor arts district to a new and possibly younger audience.

That sounds like a hit for the community.

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