Letter: Advising new arts advisory board
Some suggestions for priorities for the new advisory board on the arts.
First and foremost the board should construct a firm long-term goal to fund and build a state-of-the-art performance center as the anchor for the urban, commercial portion of the confluence redevelopment area. Infrastructure must be among the bricks the mortar of the arts holds together, to add onto Councilor Trauger’s comment, what the arts actually creates to make itself a sustaining force of life.
Secondly there are the displaced dancers and instructors of programs (well-established) of the art center council’s mismanagement of its charges put on the street. You’ve now taken the responsibility to find space to continue for these disenfranchised artists and teachers made vulnerable via your not extending their lease on the future. So the board should fulfill the responsibility they’ve taken for themselves by making sure they at the very least have temporary venues in where to survive until they can thrive.
Between these two ends, present needs and a strong permanent vision for the future is where your functions begins. Securing the viability of what we already have. Promoting and developing the means to the long term. In that frame I suggest the board get together with YouthZone and the senior community and make it happen in developing the old library into a fluid multi-use facility. This broadens both what we define as the arts and what we define as community, promoting the actual function of the arts, which isn’t actually commerce. Furthering the heart and soul behind the small town facades.
It will be an effort to come up with the resources to effect the repairs on the building; however, this is something artists are uniquely qualified to perform. Because we’ve been turning underutilized urban areas into thriving communities for decades now. You’ll find a barn-raising approach to problems like these are second nature to them. Plus such an action will give the new board a chance to substantially prove it isn’t simply an excuse to hide the city’s own shortcomings behind.