Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Of Arts & Entertainment

A few years ago our town was designated an Arts & Entertainment District. What does this mean exactly? Well, I 'think' it means more tourism exposure for the town and a bit of financial aid for artists looking to start a small business here. However, the whole process of getting A&E thriving in our little corner of the world has been a slow going process.

You see, our small town is also the county seat. Meaning, all of the county services are here... Specifically social services, which send a lot of homeless folks our way, and the courthouse which means the upper side of East Main is littered with Bail Bonds offices. So the downtown district isn't exactly Shangri-la.

BUT! There are those of us who see the 'bones' of a lovely little place to shop, dine and simply enjoy the downtown atmosphere. I consider myself one of those people and as a volunteer, am doing what I can to help it be so.

Just 3 weeks ago, I was asked if I would be interested in getting an Artist Co-Op started downtown. This seemed like a GREAT stride in jump-starting the A&E 'ideal' so I jumped at the opportunity. It's been a whirlwind of activity ever since. The contract for the rental of the shop was signed last week and this week we've been cleaning, painting and scrubbing everything down as the place had been empty for a few years, just waiting for the perfect tenants.

There are currently 6 artists involved with the project and each needs pay only a minimal rent fee since they're all sharing the space. I was asked to take part in the co-op but since most of my work is of the commission variety, I really didn't have anything to 'fill' a space. So I've taken on the roll of managing the group and getting it up and running. HOLY MOLEY! What a BUSY job this has been but what a WORTHWHILE endeavor!

The Grand Opening is on Friday and there's still a sizeable laundry list of items to take care of but today our little 'gem' made FRONT PAGE of the local newspaper! This is a VERY good thing.

You know, some would say that in this economy, starting a new business is a fruitless task but I like to think of it in a more positive light... I like to think this is the beginning of the 'Phoenix rising from the ashes' and this small town of ours is destined to meet every potential of it's 'Arts & Entertainment District' moniker.

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Blogger lime said...

i'm so glad you have this opportunity to contribute to the image of your part of the world. you have a lot to offer. :)

10:57 AM, November 12, 2009  
Blogger Christy said...

That sounds really exciting! My husband started his business right at the peak of the financial mess, and it's thriving! Don't let it get you--do what you love and what feels right & it will ALL work out!

11:32 AM, November 12, 2009  

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