Follow The Republic:
ALTHOUGH it’s still in its infancy, the Columbus Arts District has already made some substantial additions to the city’s trophy case.
One of the linchpins in Mayor Kristen Brown’s administration, the district has been viewed as a vehicle for promoting the artistic treasures the city has and seeking ways to expand and improve the areas where many of those treasures are located.
Early success came in April when the city was recognized for exploiting an initiative launched in 2006, the Columbus Sculpture Invitational, which brought a number of nationally recognized sculptors and their works to the city. Many of those pieces are still part of the city’s landscape and were singled out at a Midwest cultural conference in Bloomington, not only for their artistic merits but as magnets that can draw visitors to the community.
The most recent recognition was from Ball State University, which earlier this month honored Columbus for the development of the arts district through its inaugural Primacy of Place Community Award. Columbus was one of only three Indiana communities that received the award (21 cities had applied). The Ball State recognition speaks specifically to quality of life standards that in turn can be engines for economic development.
The overall program was conceptualized in a strategic plan unveiled by Brown in January. Ideas ranged from more children’s entertainment and a new art gallery to expanding outdoor festivals and restoring the Crump Theatre.
The plan also lists four distinct corridors within the arts district:
Demonstrating how these areas have been exploited was the ArtFEST event earlier this month in which 80 artists were given the opportunity to show off their skills.
There are doubtless numerous esoteric rewards that will come with this program, but the economic benefits also must be considered in judging its merits. Based on these two recognitions, the city’s arts treasure have not only brought visitors to the city but have lured local residents to areas they might otherwise have avoided.
That’s economic development.
Think your friends should see this? Share it with them!
Note: All comments left on our sites are first reviewed by an automated comment moderation system. Your comment may take up to 5 minutes to appear. If for any reason your comment can not be approved you will receive an email from this system with a detailed explanation.
All content copyright ©2013 The Republic, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.