GREENFIELD — In addition to the standard fare of financial incentives and shovel-ready sites, the Hancock Economic Development Council next month intends to start drumming up some business – literally.
To show prospective businesses Hancock County is as culturally stimulating as it is business friendly, the council, in collaboration with other community organizations, will bring an evening of Taiko Japanese drums to Greenfield’s H.J. Ricks Centre for the Arts Feb. 21, said council executive director Skip Kuker.
Kuker said a community boasting an active and eclectic cultural environment is a major draw for corporate relocation and attracting new business.
“We think it’s important from an economic development perspective,” Kuker said.
“These companies do research on the communities to see what they’re doing,” Kuker said. “One of the things that might pop up on a search is the entertainment and other things that are going on. This is another way to keep us out there.”
Cathy Wenning, development council president, said the event is also an opportunity to maintain existing relationships.
“It’s a way to celebrate the fact that we have such wonderful working relationships with the Japanese companies we have in town,” Wenning said.
If curious corporate executives Google “Taiko” and “Greenfield” for February, they will note “Taiko Tonight,” featuring The Dublin Taiko Drum performance group.
Incorporating rhythm as well as endurance, Taiko drummers trace back to Japan’s earliest folk, classical and mythological culture.
Formed in 2004 under the direction of Eitetsu Hayashi, a Taiko drummer from Hiroshima who has performed throughout the world, the Dublin troupe is comprised of 22 middle and high school students from Dublin, Ohio.
According to the group’s website, it has performed at international festivals in Ohio and Kentucky and at Disney World.
Kuker said the free concert is a collaborative effort of several community organizations.
The performing arts center’s fees were sponsored by the Hancock County Visitors Bureau, with the Hancock County Arts Council securing funds from the Hancock County Community Foundation to bring the drummers to town.
“The Japan-America Society of Indiana will also provide translation services for the area’s Japanese-American community,” Kuker said.
“This is a performing arts event that is culturally diverse and will appeal to a wide breadth of interests,” Kuker said. “It’s a great way to show off that Hancock County and Greenfield are great places to live.”
The council intends to reach out to downtown businesses so they can participate in the event as well, Kuker said.
Seating is limited to 350 for the 7 p.m. performance, with theater doors opening at 6:30 p.m. For more information, contact the HEDC at (317) 477-7241.