When we first launched the Inlander 21 years ago this month, we thought Spokane needed a place to find out about all the region's events so, you know, people could go out and have fun. In fact, one of the first special sections we launched was our Fall Arts Preview.

As we put that issue together every year, it becomes obvious that October is the big daddy. So it makes sense that Spokane Arts finally made it official and just renamed this month as Create Spokane Arts Month.

If you've been out, you see it — more people are doing more things than ever around here. Electronically, we can stay connected from far away with our iPhones and tablets, but somehow that has us wanting to be closer, out on the town together. (We've got to have something to post on Facebook and Twitter, after all.)

A quick look back at our 1994 Fall Arts Preview shows two days in October with goose eggs — nothing happening at all. The big shows that month were Lyle Lovett, something called Lazer Vaudeville and Fiddler on the Roof at Whitworth. I was at that Lyle Lovett concert — great show, but two-thirds of the Opera House crowd came dressed as empty seats.

Not to put down Spokane circa 1994, but this October I know we had to do our best cramming to fit all the events — with lots of spillover to be found at Inlander.com/events. For 2014, we've got Chewelah's own Allen Stone, Jason Mraz and, um, Fiddler on the Roof. (OK, so some things don't change.)

But the big change is you — shows are selling out, and arts groups are getting healthier. The Spokane of 1994 could never have landed Bon Jovi, Pearl Jam or Elton John, as the recent run at the about-to-turn-20 Spokane Arena featured.

So here's your chance to get in on the action, starting with this week's Visual Arts Tour/First Friday celebration all over downtown Spokane.

The rest of the month? DVR your favorite TV show so you can hit the scene. Les Miz in Coeur d'Alene, Tommy at the Bing. Read Swamplandia! as part of Spokane is Reading and go hear author Karen Russell on the 16th. Meet visiting artist Dr. Chip Thomas, the Arizonan who has documented the Navajo, at the MAC and SFCC. The Blue Man Group, the Symphony plays Mozart, live comedy at a number of different local venues... The list goes on.

Finally, there's the Create Spokane Costume Ball on the 30th, where the Spokane Arts Awards will be handed out after an exhilarating month. The one costume you won't see? The empty seat. ♦

American Inheritance: Unpacking World War II @ Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Tuesdays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through May 23
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About The Author

Ted S. McGregor Jr.

Ted S. McGregor, Jr. grew up in Spokane and attended Gonzaga Prep high school and the University of the Washington. While studying for his Master's in journalism at the University of Missouri, he completed a professional project on starting a weekly newspaper in Spokane. In 1993, he turned that project into reality...