A Diamond in the Dust…

14 Apr
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Bakersfield Sign Photo taken by Nick Chapman

If someone described to you what Bakersfield has to offer, like theater, classic orchestras, entertainers like Elton John and James Taylor performing live in concert, local artists performing music and art, and modern cuisine. People would not believe it was Bakersfield but rather some other major metropolis area.  In California, there exists a common attitude that Bakersfield is just an oil town. Devoid of any real experience of art, culture, or entertainment.  However, after living here for over ten years I can say that this mindset is not absolutely true. There is life here in Bakersfield, not just people living but a infusion of artistic and cultural awakening. This movement is not only expressed by artists and groups passing through Bakersfield but by the citizens themselves.

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The Rabobank Arena.
Photo provided by the Marriot hotel.

The venues here in Bakersfield  are putting on great performances. Major locations like the Fox Theater and Rabobank Arena continue to bring  great talent to Bakersfield. While local theaters like The Empty SpaceBakersfield Community Theater, and Spotlight Theater bring many local artist to the stage and gallery. There are museums and zoos, fairs and concerts, and everything in between.

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The Fox Theater Photo taken by Bobak Ha’Eri July 26 2009

The dilemma Bakersfield faces  today is that it desires to be both current and cultured as it duels with the equally passionate effort to remain the quiet conservative town it once was.

Bakersfield’s reputation as being one of the top 10 conservative cities in America, with a strong christian base lends people to believe that this city remains unmoved by currents trend in culture.  Yet, there is an undercurrent of nightlife, contemporary art, classical music, ballet, live bans, and sporting events, all bubbling up to the surface.

Bakersfield has over 350,000 residents now and has had a  41% jump in growth since the last decade. This created a more diverse society which grew the desire for a wider preference of the kinds of entertainment the city has to offer.  Bakersfield’s fun and creative side may not be the first thing people think about this city. But if you can wipe the dust away and if you know where to look, you will realize what a diamond it can truly be.

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