If you are looking for the arts at Kentucky Wesleyan College, look no further than the Ralph Center. When I close my eyes, I can picture the Ralph Center much bigger with wild additions. The art gallery is taller, wider, and longer. The walls are painted red and white like colossal Christmas candy canes. The lighting is more intense and Christmas trees are everywhere brightly displayed. They are blinking and flashing flamboyantly all year long. There’s a smoothie and coffee bar in the front lobby entrance facing the soccer field. The bar includes small menu items like cheesy egg biscuits, donuts, and cinnamon rolls. A stereo system is wired up throughout the building playing soft background music. The radio station is taller, wider, and longer. It has a recording studio attached big enough to bring in a five-piece band. I journey over to the theatre and I see a taller, wider, and longer stage. Of course, art lines the walls to the extreme of things hanging from the ceiling.
Outside there’s a labyrinth garden full of flowers, vegetable plants, nut trees, and fruit trees. Bushes are carved into the likeness of shapes. Students help maintain it. Of course, the zoology students bring over animals for fun and help maintain the plants. You would be surprised how far one generous grant would go toward the maintenance of a labyrinth garden. In the middle of the garden is a tiny lake full of fish, frogs, and turtles. Be creative!
Musicians have a platform at the Ralph Center. They have a stage to gig every weekend. Live music is the best! Sometimes, events compliment sports that are in season having games happening on particular weekends. Grills outside release the pleasant smell of burgers, hotdogs, turkey legs, and chicken strips. Would you like lettuce, onions, or mustard today? A table nearby is flooded with diverse types of drinks like tea, 7up, water, and Gatorade. The live music is held inside in order to not disturb the neighborhood. There’s a platform for most genres of music. The drums, guitars, keyboards, and vocalists all have a microphone. The music is clean without cursing. If you wanted to gig, you could sign up. The stage could also be used during the week as rehearsal space. The Ralph Center becomes a source of culture building in Owensboro. People start calling Owensboro “the little Nashville” and all kinds of promotion is made possible.
When I close my eyes, I can picture the Ralph Center with more parking spaces. Eventually a second Ralph Center is built just down Frederica Street. The second Ralph Center is nicknamed Ralphy and contains more of the same. There’s live music, coffee, holiday parties, church events, food, and another recording studio. Security guards are hired to help maintain the Ralph.
When I close my eyes, I can see the Ralph Center and the Ralphy being talked about all over the country. It attracts Uber to start doing business in Owensboro. A Guitar Center is built in town. Local bands are given a voice and outside bands come to town to jam. Record labels start doing business in Owensboro. The population grows and more grocery stores are built. What would Owensboro look like in 2040 because of one loud and culturally thriving Ralph Center? More festivals come to town, more museums are built, and jobs are created. The mall is expanded into a two story castle with escalators. There’s a Barnes and Nobles inside, a Footlocker, and a massive food court. The airport expands. Suddenly, Owensboro starts getting bigger than Louisville. An underground subway system is built and not too expensive to ride. Most importantly more and more jobs are created.