Friday, September 26, 2008

"the way things used to be"

Funny how a financial crisis makes you nostalgic. The more I tell people about The Goods and my sincere quest to engage the public in arts and culture, fitness, the environment and the local food economy, the more I hear (and feel) an aching for "the way things used to be."

Through my work with the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, we're promoting a lifestyle that challenges you to see how many days you can leave your car at home and walk, bike, roller-blade or Segway to ...where-ever you may be going. It's estimated that forty percent (40%) of all U.S. urban travel is two miles or less. For example, it's only about 1.7 miles from the Chase Tower on Monument Circle downtown Indianapolis to the fountain in Fountain Square.

In "the good ol' days," our cities and neighborhoods were designed so that you could walk to work or the grocery store or to church. Over the last 30 years (or more), many cities, including Indianapolis, have removed sidewalks from their budgets to make more room for car-centric roads and their pot-holed maintenance. Now, fuel prices are forcing us to consider these other "good ol'" options.

In "the good ol' days," before modern television, video games, and movies, we spent more time with our families in the kitchen learning grandma's spaghetti sauce recipe made from tomatoes and basil fresh from her garden (or maybe how to make the best cake, like mine proudly displayed by my mother in the photo). Now, global warming and the increasingly toxic environment are forcing us to consider these "good ol'" ways of buying, growing and preparing food locally.

In "the good ol' days," we spent time learning to play to the piano, the trumpet, or maybe guitar as a child and endured our uncle singing his favorite Irish tune tune or accompanied mom's tentative yet beautiful voice singing the latest Broadway ballad. Now, there's little time for music and the arts between soccer, basketball, football, homework, birthday parties, video games, movies and tv. Worse yet, our schools and cities are cutting funding for arts, making me and most performing arts organizations wonder: where will our future audience come from?

When did "the good ol' days" become "ol'?" When did this become "renaissance" to the point of seeming upper-class, snobbish and expensive?

I don't know about you, but I long for the good ol' days. Or maybe I'm just ol' fashioned.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Thoughtful Marketing, Authentic Living

The Goods offers thoughtful marketing and authentic living focused on arts, culture, fitness, the environment and the local food economy.

"Thoughtful Marketing" == listening to your organization's situation and understanding how marketing (or communications, public relations, branding or fundraising) can help you be more successful. It's looking at your organization wholistically as well as looking at the individual programs or projects where you need a boost. You will be most successful when all of your efforts are working towards your success instead of against it. By focusing on specific areas, "thoughtful marketing" allows The Goods to 'go deeper with fewer' by offering deeper expertise, best practices and cross-area collaborations that can help you raise money, reach new audiences and/or fill seats.

Established in 2007, The Goods "Thoughtful Marketing" clients have included:

-- Indianapolis Cultural Trail: A Legacy of Gene & Marilyn Glick

-- Keep Indianapolis Beautiful

-- Young Voices of Indianapolis

-- HARMONI - Historic Midtown Neighborhoods Initiative

Look for stories on these projects in upcoming blog posts.

"Authentic Living" == offering high-quality, unique experiences in arts, culture, fitness, the environment and the local food economy. The Goods "Authentic Living" series will engage all age groups and levels of expertise in opportunities to expand your knowledge, build community with others who share your interests and inspire you to live more authentically -- to make more time in your life, everyday, for what inspires you.

Check back soon for more details on upcoming "Authentic Living" events.

Send us your questions and suggestions!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Living "The Goods Life"

We all have to work to survive - not the other way around, I hope. But if you didn't have to work, what would you do?

For me, it would involve some combination of enjoying my family and friends over a lovingly prepared meal with that perfect cocktail, wine, or beer. It might also include some type of exercise or outdoor fitness, singing or seeing a live artistic performance or maybe a show in a local gallery. I also love to garden, or at least learn about gardening, so some of my time might be spent there, too.

In such a busy world, I believe most Americans are really striving to live like more Europeans, or at least those who seem to appreciate the simple, beautiful, art of living everyday life. There is time for working hard, but also enough time to take in the beauty of the world around us and to cherish each moment. It's time to live our lives more authentically; more true to who we are and what we dare to become. That's what THE GOODS is all about.

Through my experience helping for-profits and not-for-profits craft strategic communications and marketing initiatives to achieve their goals, I want to promote and advocate for the arts, culture, fitness, the environment, and our local food economy. I want to help people live a more healthy, balanced life. I want to position Indianapolis, my hometown, as a competitive, global city that offers these quality of life values.

Check back. I'll be sharing stories about my clients, friends, and other resources that help all of us live "the goods" life.