Make It Work! Seattle's Arts Enablers: Carlo Scandiuzzi
Category: Arts + Events Articles
In the past year, ACT Theatre’s Central Heating Lab (acttheatre.org/Community/CentralHeatingLab.aspx)—an initiative providing space and resources for a wide range of up-and-coming artists to develop new work—has put on a showcase for local filmmakers, a poetry slam, a stand-up comedy night and a performance by the Seattle Dance Project, to name just a few of the adventurous projects that have complemented the main-stage theatrical programming. At the helm of Central Heating Lab, Carlo Scandiuzzi is integral to its mission of fostering fresh work by local artists. T.N.
Q. What is Seattle’s greatest asset as an arts community?
A. The pool of talent in Seattle is unlike any other city of its size. If you look at the contemporary dancers, actors and musicians, there’s really a cornucopia of talent—and they’re staying here and not moving to New York or L.A. or San Francisco. They want to be here, and what we’re doing at ACT is providing a platform for local artists to experiment with their work through residencies and performance series.
Q. What kind of audience do you hope to attract at Central Heating Lab?
A. By catering to a younger, edgier audience with the Central Heating Lab, we draw people in who are interested in the avant-garde, but I believe there’s a cross-cultural engine that happens in the space. You can be interested in the avant-garde but then see a great performance of Eurydice, and vice versa. We’re trying to develop both kinds of audiences.
Q. What is the city’s greatest arts need?
A. Funding. The philanthropic community should know that this is not just giving some dough; it’s an investment in our city. No city has ever grown without the arts. Culture is part of our everyday lives here and investing in the young talent is an investment in the primordial pool of the city’s life. Funding work at this stage is far less expensive than funding work at the level of Laurie Anderson, and the rewards are far, far greater.