Tuesday, March 24, 2009

"Synergy of the Arts..."

I'm currently reading through the Placemaking Initiative report regarding downtown development in Owensboro.

I'm currently President of the Board of Directors at Theatre Workshop of Owensboro, and we were hoping to acquire the Goldie's Opryhouse facility with the assistance of local government.

I have found interesting references in the Placemaking Initiative report about "synergy of the arts", and "historical preservation."

So the question is this: Is requesting $250,000 for the purchasing price for Goldie's too much in the face of a $79 million incentive plan to reinvent downtown Owensboro?

Should a public entity with a proven track record, and as the oldest arts organization in Owensboro, be shown preference to acquire the facility to "synergize the arts"? Or, should local government rely solely on the private sector?

1 comment:

  1. My answer to your question as it lies is no, they should not provide the $250,000. I am assuming that would cover the cost of the facility, and then what do you do, slap another coat of paint on a worn out building?

    Now if you were asking for $250,000 and your organization had backing from other sources ($500,000 or more???) to fix the place up, put in some modern theatre equipment, major renovations, etc. . . then I think you have a very good arguement.

    As a matter of fact, asking for more money, enough to really do some real renovations, make a state of the art facility. . .maybe something with more community involvement. . .something resembling the aspects of a theatre like The Ark (http://www.a2ark.org/) in Ann Arbor (just came off the top of my head, I'm sure there are better examples out there), I think you have a better arguement then just asking for a flat $250,000. Of course, you then may be looking at a bigger project then you want.

    Maybe the money given by the government needs to be tied to certain milestones (what those are I don't know) in a way that relocated businesses receive incentives based on hiring so many people, generating so much revenue, etc. .

    If I (as an Owensboroan) am going to get behind this downtown development plan, then every project going in better be top notch, is this type of project what you want? If so, then go for it.

    If we are going to go through with this development, then we should be doing it right, not just slapping new lipstick on old pigs and planting trees.

    p.s. got a little rambly there in the middle but I hope you get my drift.