The first thing I ever wanted to be when I grew up was rich. In my family, there were two distinct sides—the haves and the have nots. My parents worked in public education, so you can guess which side we were on. It seemed to me that the haves—the oil executives, the software moguls, and the investment bankers—in the family had an easier time of it.
This led me to a career in finance. Fortunately, I’m good at being a glorified accountant. In fact, I’m great at it. Unfortunately, doing it for a living made me want to kill myself a little bit. I needed a change, but a new career and a new life are scary things. It took a confluence of difficult circumstances to force me to reexamine my path.
In desperation, I looked to the arts—the thing that had consumed so much of my free time since I was five years old, and also the thing I had discounted as a career long ago because it would never make me rich. Since money had failed to deliver happiness, I turned my attention to the future of the arts and, specifically, new ways that artists from different disciplines could work together to create things that were out of their reach working alone. I was convinced (and still am) that co-creation, across the artificial boundaries of genre, is the inevitable future of all creative endeavors.
Thus the concept for The Apollon was born—a fertile environment for cross-genre collaboration and co-creation that is driven by the relationship between a vibrant, well-supported arts community and an equally vibrant, well-rewarded audience. Four years later, our first venue is open in South Omaha and our family of artists is hard at work creating theater, visual art, live music, and gourmet cuisine, and combining them in ways not even I suspected were possible.
I may never have much money but, since I was lucky enough to find a way to do what I love, I get to be rich after all.
The creator of The Apollon’s collaborative arts venue concept, Ryan Tewell has been annoying his family and friends by talking incessantly about “his big idea” every waking moment since June 2009. He is the primary business mind of the Apollon team, coming to the project with a long (and we’re gonna guess dull) history of professional exploits in the fields of accounting, human resources, payroll, purchasing, and contract negotiation. Artistically, he gets his “street cred” from the literary community and his long-time involvement with Nebraska’s poetry slam movement. Formerly a cubicle-bound wage slave, currently a freaking superhero.
For more information about The Apollon, visit http://apollonomaha.com.