From: Terry Whittaker
To the editor:
I am responding to Terry Clark’s recent letter to the editor where he expressed concern regarding Tom Jekel’s editorial about the benefits that a performing art center would bring to Columbus. Clark felt that bringing in artists to compete with local artists and that money leaving the community would be detrimental.
As one who sits in on many of the arts district meetings, I want to assure him that supporting and expanding the local arts community is a stated goal of the mayor’s Advance Columbus charge to the Columbus Arts District Coalition.
Specifically stated in those objectives is to perform an artisan center feasibility study speaking directly to Clark’s concept of studio and gallery space for local artists. A retail component has also been discussed by the coalition.
Another stated goal is to attract and retain artists, designers and artisans from across the state and country to live and work in Columbus. Part of this initiative would be an art and design residency program within the district through IUCAD. Reaching out to local schools to encourage the next generation of artists is also part of that discussion.
We have already seen how this can work from the recent Paul Rand workshop created by the School of Fine Arts & Design at Ivy Tech Community College Columbus. The students involved in this project felt a real connection to the city with their creative ideas about how to take Rand’s design and celebrate it in the arts district.
It seems to me that there is room for both the creation of a venue where national acts could perform here and support for local artists. In fact, the two should feed off each other, creating the kind of atmosphere that would encourage the growth of both.