|Found as is outside my studio in the parking lot...natural formation last Friday!|
What is one thing you wish you still owned today?
This month’s Leave Your Mark question had 65 responses. Considering this month’s low attendance for First Friday, that is a decent number! The Community Participation Project generated a lot of activity as well, we even had a line waiting to color in their hearts at several times during the evening. The crowd was steady on our end of the District, but a walk around outside saw empty streets. I did have an interesting (or perhaps enlightening is a better word) conversation with a group of ladies at one of the local restaurants.
I asked if they were going to venture down the street to see our work and participate in the FF activities. The answer was no. Why? The reasons were different for each person, but it was an overall consensus. 1. It was too cold. (Now these folks had coats and obviously walked from their parked car to this establishment). 2. They only come to support the restaurants so maybe another time. 3. What art? (Hold me back and pass the duct tape.) 4. “FF’s are no longer about art, they are about beer, booze, bands and groups of young people standing around on the streets. The focus has changed and not for the better.” (A direct quote from a very influential local person in the area.) Can’t say I disagree which is why we are working so hard to give people a reason to wander. Some of the great art venues are not on the official map….such as the AE complex to name one. Translations/Cyrus is offering up new and innovative art but they are not located in the confines of the official AD footprint.
IF that footprint is changing because retail is coming in and arts oriented businesses are moving out and beyond, maybe the shoe no longer fits. Maybe a new name is needed and this is not just a local thing, such growing pains are happening all over the country, it is the ebb and flow of economics. Arts Districts are becoming Entertainment Districts with the arts mixed in. Think about it, what do people do for entertainment if they come from out of town? See a play or movie, go to bars, eat out at restaurants, shop at funky little stores, tour historic buildings and museums….all of which are pretty much within our current footprint or a few blocks thereof. Rebranding the Arts District to an Arts and Entertainment District and widening the margins to encompass the Car Museum, First Ladies Library, Art Museum, Environmental Arts, Crew Nightclub, and so on, would better serve all those people coming to stay in our new hotels, as well as the possibly burnt out locals. Directing guests to an Arts District that is not really saturated with Art anymore is doing us all a disservice. Bit of a side note, even getting to our area is a problem…anybody driven the crater field called Fulton Road? If the big dreams for the giant juicer come to be, then someone needs to put money into paving the whole way down to the District or nobody is going to bother risking a broken axle or flat tire. Okay, back on topic…
A brewery is not art, resale/vintage fashion stores are not art, a tattoo shop is not art, a nightclub is not art, an historic hotel is not art, yoga studios are not art…but many of these places have art displayed in them and support the local artists. These venues would be of interest to out-of-towners (and many locals if they knew about them all being within one general downtown area) as places to visit. When I travel, I look for things to do and places to explore, I don’t specifically target “art”, but 99% of the time, I find great galleries and spaces within all these other “entertainment” categories. I am afraid that if we don’t widen our perspective, we are going to wither and die. If it is a matter of semantics, that giving up that four letter word “arts” will somehow take away some power or direction, then we need to figure out how to accept such a circumstance and move on, rebranding, refocusing and reenergizing what was once a vibrant and “must do” event every month. “Entertainment” may be a bigger draw than just “Arts”, folks like to be entertained and to be part of something, and if that something includes some art….win win. Hmmmm…how about “First Friday, your Arts and Entertainment Destination in Downtown Canton!” Make it a monthly habit that is hard to break. You can “see, do, dance, dine and indulge” all in one place. (Consider this officially copyrighted :-)
My goodness that was a long introductory paragraph to get to my answers from Friday’s question of the month! (Which will remain up for 2 weeks if you wish to contribute.)
What is one thing you wish you still owned today?
Animals: my cat Sparky – my giny pig (which I think is supposed to be guinea pig) – my goats – my dead rabbit – a dog
Toys: Sega Genesis – Nintendo – Atari! – Betsy Wetsy doll – toy train – little people set – my little pony – my 1st 2 wheeler Schwinn – my yamahopper (I have no idea what that is so it is in the toy category) – creepy crawlers – Tamagotchi – Lincoln logs – erector set – toys – baseball cards – a wonder ball – merlin’s magic kit
Vehicles: blue Honda civic – Jeep Liberty – my 1974 bug – yellow MGB GT – GTO – Big Blue (I am guessing that is the nickname of a car and not a pet) – 1976 Firebird – 1992 T bird SC
Personal Items: my leather bracelet – my music studies – my childhood diary – my home – AIM account – that necklace – the Who, Who’s Next album – green sweater – my fav boots – weedeater – my chalkboard – Sailor Moon VHS
Physical items: my health – my pancreas – my hair – my skinny self – my flat belly
Emotional items: my boyfriend – my best friend – true pure love – the ‘80s – heart – freedom – my youth (2 votes) – my motivation – trust in others – simplicity – innocence – my virginity – college life – my sanity (2 votes) – my mind
Everyone used their best handwriting (thanks!) and really took time to think about their responses. Come back in March for another project and another question. As long as my creativity holds out, I will do my best to provide you a reason to visit our corner of the world. A big thank you to Jeff and Su and Meg for all their support…my Journey neighbors are the BEST!