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Arts and Economic Development in Columbus

Home Forums Events Art Events Arts and Economic Development in Columbus

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 77 total)
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  • #459140
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    A lot of discussion on “sense of place”‘and creating places.

    Kridler says we need to create our spaces to make our city world class. We have no mountains or oceans.

    Wexner states that Columbus has great existing places without need for creating from scratch. Was that a call to end sprawl? 

    #459141
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    Great question from audience member: how can arts spur development while also spanning class divide and providing ways for citizens of all income levels to be involved and invested.

    #459142

    JonMyers
    Participant

    Brant said:
    I have yet to see convincing evidence that investments in the Arts (or sports arenas, for that matter) stimulate broader economic development in the metro area. It’s the same garbage that Richard Florida and Rebecca Ryan have been peddling for the last 10 years.

    Really wish they’d open up the floor for an audience Q&A at this event.

    +1 I’m skeptical as well.

    #459143

    SusanB
    Participant

    That’s it?

    #459144
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    SusanB said:
    That’s it?

    Was posting live from the event on my phone. More thoughts in a bit. Sorry for the brevity. ;)

    #459145

    rushgeo
    Member

    Great event, and an impressive turnout considering the weather and campus traffic! I also livetweeted the event, using the hashtag #wexarts, if anybody wants a few more details while Walker gets a writeup together.

    There was one statement that I thought was particularly interesting, but I forgot to tag. Kridler really emphasized tonight how much belt-tightening arts orgs. have already done, and I thought referring to them as “investment grade” was pretty savvy.

    #459146

    Coreroc
    Member

    Thanks for the live tweets all in attendance. It was good to hear some of the conversation and energy in the room from the folks I follow. Walker I look forward to your recap!

    #459147

    BCNation
    Participant

    It was a great discussion, and there were a lot of good points made by the four of them. I wish there were more of these often.

    #459148

    Bart Overly
    Member

    It was a good discussion. I particularly was interested in the study Rocco pointed to (here) that “social offerings, openness, and aesthetics” are the three primary features of a city that attract (or retain) people. Doug Kridler seemed to echo that point by stressing that Columbus needs to put more design focus on the kinds of places it makes or enhances, and therefore greater focus on the kind of image it projects to the arts-appreciating world about itself.

    Wexner had some really great points about arts funding in austere times, and how to be opportunistic in those times (paraphrasing… “build more audience, less stuff”). I also loved his keen “fish demographic” analysis!

    #459150

    Andrew Hall
    Member

    Bart Overly said:
    It was a good discussion. I particularly was interested in the study Rocco pointed to (here) that “social offerings, openness, and aesthetics” are the three primary features of a city that attract (or retain) people. Doug Kridler seemed to echo that point by stressing that Columbus needs to put more design focus on the kinds of places it makes or enhances, and therefore greater focus on the kind of image it projects to the arts-appreciating world about itself.

    There is a big difference between incorporating design/art into what a city does and funding “arts” as a thing in itself. The big institutions think almost exclusively in the latter, but I think the evidence is equivocable as to economic benefits versus funding other things, especially if “the arts” are part of value-added.

    A paradigmatic example would be the 21C hotel in Louisville. It is primarily a hotel but has focused itself around art. When I go to Louisville (or my wife who travels there more than I), that is where I will stay. The value-added aspect separates it from alternatives. In fact, I will go as far to say that it puts Louisville ahead of otherwise equal alternatives when making travel choices.

    A.

    #459151
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    Overall, the discussion last night was interesting, though I couldn’t help but feel like the “Economic Development” part of the discussion was sidelined early on in favor of a more robust discussion about the general importance of supporting the arts. Which is fine, but not really what I wanted.

    Coleman probably stuck closest to the topic in my opinion, but only touched briefly upon neighborhoods like the Short North where a strong artistic community has yielded a highly sought after cultural district where jobs have been created, home values have risen and the hyperlocalized economy has strengthened. He talked about how that effort is currently being replicated in places like the King Lincoln District and Franklinton, and how both public and private investments are already being made to speed up those revitalization efforts.

    To that end, my big question would be… if the Short North came about organically and largely without institutional or government funding, how will an intentional replication with influence from institutions and government change the outcome of Franklinton or the KLD. The hope is that the process would just be sped up (and not take 30 years like the Short North) but what else might we be inadvertently skipping over or missing out on, and how much mindfulness is being taken to make sure that no element is going overlooked.

    Doug Kridler made some good points (as rushgeo mentioned) about how Arts Organizations must tighten their belts right now, and Wexner mention that we’re in a time of austerity no less than three dozen times. ;) Which the panelists all seemed to agree can be a good thing when viewed correctly because it’s a time when priorities are reanalyzed and core missions can take on a stronger focus.

    Doug Kridler also made it a point to remind us that we have no oceans or mountains so we must create our own places of value. Which means a stronger sense of architectural design, public art, valuable people-centric spaces and cultural amenities.

    Wexner added to that to say that we need to strengthen our existing places rather than creating new… and I assume he was talking about arts venues specifically, but I couldn’t help but hear the irony coming from a guy who played a large role in shifting retail and residential wealth out of the core of the region and into new-built suburban shopping centers and neighborhoods. If Wexner really thinks that we need to strengthen our existing places then why doesn’t he live in Bexley and have Easton located Downtown? ;)

    A lot of the discussion from there continued to spiral further away from Economic Development. One of the moderator’s questions was about what type of non-monetary support for arts organizations is most important. Another was about what each of the panelists would say to the leaders and directors of the arts organizations in the room. Nothing really new was said, and nothing really exciting was to be found in the answers. But I believe Jeff Regensburger said to me afterward something along the lines of them being messages worth repeating, even if not new. Which I agree with.

    The audience Q&A was hit or miss. Great question about making the arts accessible and open across class boundaries. Another great question about investing in public schools and teaching art at pre-college ages. The answers didn’t really contain anything new or substantial, but reiterated that these concerns are important and need to continue to be addressed.

    One of the Q&A questions was from a guy who asked “why are we even here?” which was a fair question, although it seemed like he was just trying to cause a commotion. Kridler handled him quite well and apologized if he was not satisfied with the event. I have a great photo of the guy after the event loading up his plate at the buffet table, so apparently he came for the free food. ;)

    Anyway, all in all it was a good discussion even if there wasn’t a lot of meat to the economic development side of things, which is what I was primarily interested in as someone who is more interested in how the arts can play a role in the revitalization of cities and neighborhoods. We’ve been kicking around a project of our own along those lines for around a year now, and if anything, this event yesterday is really making me want to invest the time and resources to get it up and running in the next few months. ;) We’ll see…

    #459152

    JonMyers
    Participant

    It sounds like a word for word rehash of the discussions I’ve heard about Columbus arts and economic development for the last 6 years.

    Whats’ the outcome? Everyone is more enlightened…

    #459153

    labi
    Participant

    It felt to me mostly like a political exercise. Not as painful as most, but an exercise nonetheless.

    #459154
    Jason Powell
    Jason Powell
    Participant

    Walker said:

    Doug Kridler also made it a point to remind us that we have no oceans or mountains so we must create our own places of value. Which means a stronger sense of architectural design, public art, valuable people-centric spaces and cultural amenities.

    This is exactly my point when I “complain” about how places like Columbus Commons turned out. Yes, it is better than what was there, but it’s boring. Building something simply to replace blight or vacant parking lots is no excuse for poor design. I’m sorry, but grass, trees and flower beds are NOT going to make a “great” and memorable place. I know the park is “unfinished” and we are getting a bandshell, but to suggest closing it off to THE main street through Columbus with buildings is insane, especially when there is so much vacant land around it. I walked around the other day and could not help but feel like the space could be so much more. Besides the carousel, what other installations randamly draw people in? Point being, if they want to enhance existing spaces, start there and make it the best that it can and should be. This goes for a lot of our public spaces and building aesthetics. Too many developers and city officials play it safe all too often. I know the extras tack a little more onto the cost of a project, but in the end, it’s worth it (Scioto Mile).

    #459155
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    JonMyers said:
    It sounds like a word for word rehash of the discussions I’ve heard about Columbus arts and economic development for the last 6 years.

    So discussions are only worth having if there’s some big announcement or cosmic shift planned as a result?

    Don’t you think that sometimes the concept of repeating things that are important can be valuable too? Maybe not to you personally, but to other people who are listening and engaging?

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 77 total)

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