Posted by Chloe
I’d venture to say that kids are among the toughest critics; they want instant gratification, tell you loudly when they are bored through their words and actions, and don’t suffer silently through performances feeling they are somehow inadequate for not getting it*. My kid is no exception. I will spare you the litany of failed cultural excursions that I have endeavored upon in the name of early childhood enrichment. Suffice to say, my 6-year-old has trained me well. If it doesn’t involve high intensity physical activity, non-stop and familiar music, relentless knee slapping humor (like a knock-knock marathon), or at least the promise of abundant elevator rides, forget about it.
So, I’m pleased to report that PICA got it right with their Tiny TBA with Greasy Kid Stuff event at Wonder Ballroom. Like the monkeys at the Oregon Zoo – the kids had a choice: inside or outside. Outside there were free play zones set up with different activities, such as dress-up, face painting, and drawing. Inside was the GKS dance party, interspersed with video shorts from Indiekid Films, plus brown bag lunches, bubbles, and balls. Not wanting to brave the blacktop again, we missed the Sprockettes performance, but I have seen them before and they are a lovely all-lady synchronized mini-bike dance troupe – who wouldn’t love that?
The neat thing about Greasy Kid Stuff is that much of the music they play was not originally intended for the pint-sized set. A single GKS playlist is probably cooler than most of our music collections combined. GKS doesn’t patronize the kids with sonic pablum, and therefore doesn’t send me running for the nearest sharp object with which to poke my eardrums out. Indiekid Films, however, showcases work for kids, by kids. Which are a nice complement and a great reminder to kids and parents alike – art and culture doesn’t need to be handed to you on a silver platter – you can make your own!
Here’s my wish list for next years Tiny TBA: more comfy seating, bubble machines, balloons for all, and GKS go-go dancers!
*One of my favorite moments of TBA 2005 was when a kid loudly blurted out “This is boring!” during a quiet moment at a puppet show. I was bored too, honey. But to be fair – it wasn’t meant for kids.