Maplewood Barn Theatre book
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The concept of Arts in the Parks is not new in the United States. The provision of natural and manmade theatres and amphitheatres in major American cities has been actively in process from the late Nineteenth Century. Small towns have had, and many of them now lost, band stands, opera houses, and other forms of public stages upon which the Performing Arts could be demonstrated. In the past two decades, however, the emphasis of municipal park planning and programming has been athletically oriented. A wider public acceptance of and interest in the Arts has now begun to reflect itself in park programming that provides for music, dance, and theatre, in short, the Performing Arts. A major prototype program in the American Arts/Parks movement is the Wo1ftrap Farm Park on the outskirts of Washington, D.C. Wolftrap offers a high quality Performing Arts program operated by a non-profit citizen's group, the Wolftrap Foundation, in cooperation with a public agency, the National Park Service. Taking example from this cooperative venture the community of Columbia, Missouri explored the possibility of a Performing Arts program in that city's new culturally oriented Nifong Park. The Maplewood Barn Book attempts to document some of the process through which this exploration took plate and offer some observations and suggestions as to further development of this and similar projects.