..THE PARCEL 5 CATCH UP
-So I've sort of been monitoring the ban of urban pioneers that have been petitioning a proposal for a creative green space in Parcel 5, the Space adjacent to Midtown- and after taking a little run by there this weekend- I just imagine the rejuvenation and development that is possible for the area- but I also hold firmly to the fact we need some more gathering space downtown. After running by there, I went over near Erie Harbor- People were in the Park. It's Sunday- people want to lounge and linger, shop, eat, see some art, listen to some jazz (you get the idea). I was running, which also is great to do past a Green Space/beautiful park.
Anyways; being an arts and culture lover- I’m drawn to the spaces that develop and embrace cultural identity by displaying works of art, incorporating public art or being genuinely unique:
New Orleans, Jackson Square
What fascinates me is that they always have artists on display and even on their website.
I've seen the changes in Wynwood over the past 5 years; when I first visited Wynwood, a friend of mine remarked, "yah-some guy from NY (only Tony Goldman NBD), who kind of started Soho has been making investments here." Now- boom..
First, was the Wynwood Walls- a small turf covered parklet- with some Street Art and a small restaurant.
Next came the gallery, and the rock-park for events and yoga (seriously, a green space with large boulders for sitting- very cool)- the juice bar- and now some crazy boxcars for shopping and additional galleries.
-Wynwood was a small warehouse district with some sketchy neighborhoods- Trust me I've also walked/ran these over the years.
Now million dollar properties, film studios, galleries, breweries etc.; and a few blocks away the Design District, which also seemed to explode with outrageous development and luxury goods.
- It has street art, is just a wee-bit edgy - but it has its own awesome IDENTITY.
I won't get into too much data on failing Performance Arts Centers, prevalent around this country. Or how their is a significant drop in Arts Funding, Cultural Event Attendance, no Funding for Public Art from the City of Rochester... or maybe I will just a little-
How many mega-venues have competed with the smaller cultural icons-and all but snuffed them out. Generally starving these small non-profits out of patrons...
I will note, many Performance Art Halls are funded and supported by their Cities- not the other way around. The Madison Overture Center, which brings in "BLOCKbuster shows" was aided by the "City of Madison Support Grant $1,675,000 TOTAL REVENUE AND SUPPORT." -Rochester, NY can't even get our 10% developer funding to the Arts regulation/bill passed- or an Arts Commissioner to represent the Arts Community at large.
"3,730 Madison donors gave $2.1 million in 2014/15. That's a 12% increase in donations (to the Overture Center) from nearly twice as many donors, compared to 2013/14."- This is unfortunately $2.1 million that could have been used to fund already established -small local theater companies- dance companies- or arts venues. Not to mention halls and institutions that have been around for decades. Sure you may boost tourism- but that money should best be set aside for the Performance Arts Center's future Bail-Out. - You could spend half the budget on a park- with sites for commercial development and job growth; and take the other half of the money to market already established performance art halls and music companies- or fledgling Art Companies.
... And don't get me started on the Casino...personally if you want to gamble and have a casino- fine with me- but we have PLENTY of vacant existing space that could be repurposed for a casino/hotel/bar extravaganza. Besides, who wants to live next door to a Casino? Who would rather live next to a park- where you can relax, have breakfast, enjoy a break from work..
Rochester has an identity, a unique culture- that needs a platform- only which is sustained by economic, and tourist growth. We need more safe gathering spaces that reflect and harbor our contemplative, scholarly, creative and innovative souls- a space that reflects our heritage, culture, class and general awesomeness. And most importantly a unique space that can be enjoyed, by any class- and utilized 7 days a week. The City can also hire an Architectural firm, to build a world-renowned green space too (seeming this is always the buzz when marketing the ostentatious Performance Arts Hall) .
Anyways- I came along this picture while cleaning my desktop- from Jessica Goldman Srebnick, CEO of Goldman Properties and along came these thoughts. Thought you would enjoy it.
If you have not already done so- please sign up and support Parcel 5 becoming an greener- unique destination and space. PROPOSAL DEADLINE IS 9/9/2016!!
The Creative Collector
Amy C. Vena