Arts Districts -- How they can improve our neighborhoods and grow our cities!
Over the years many downtown areas have been in a state of demise! They have turned into boarded buildings and unsafe neighborhoods. City planners and elected officials have had to struggle to bring these areas back to life again! One major vehicle that has worked in many cities is the formation of “arts districts”.
Cities in the Commonwealth of Virginia, such as Richmond, Williamsburg, Norfolk, Isle of Wright (Smithfield) have been successful at accomplishing this mission. Some are still in the formation stage (Norfolk and Isle of Wright) but Richmond and Williamsburg are “models” of how a thriving arts district can enliven a city and offer many arts and cultural opportunities for its residents, their families and friends.
The Cultural Alliance has recognized these developments and the workshop on Arts Districts, presented in March, 2014 in Williamsburg, offered its participants a great wealth of knowledge and ideas on how to establish these districts in their areas.
The speakers at this workshop-- Michele DeWitt, Williamsburg; Careyann Weinberg, Norfolk; and Nicholas Feucht, Richmond;--can be contacted and consulted if you are interested in learning how they were able to create and maintain their arts district and to discuss the many, many benefits of such districts (tax revenues, income and employment opportunities for businesses and artists, establishment of new businesses, and the list continues).
Let’s give a hand to arts districts and how much they can impact the arts and our communities!!!