Art in the city: ideas for Cincy?
I'm just back from the Pacific Northwest, where cities have revitalized themselves with lots of impressive ideas. Former seedy neighborhoods, such as old warehouse districts, are now very upscale places to be and be seen in Vancouver and Portland. I especially liked Yaletown in Vancouver, with some of the hippest restaurants, boutiques and upscale markets in the city, overflowing out onto old loading docks.
Portland has an effective light rail system that cruises silently around the city and to the airport.
In Portland, I visited Art in the Pearl, a neat Labor Day festival with local artists, food booths (here it included grilled salmon)and a World Music Stage -- I heard blues and Celtic music -- in Portland's "Pearl District." OK, I love Oktoberfest. But I thought, what a great thing it would be to have an ARTS FESTIVAL on Fountain Square (currently showing somebody's soccer game over Warner Cable on the giant screen, but I digress)...
And in Seattle, I walked around the new Benaroya Hall, which has life-sized posters outside the hall for each of the Seattle Symphony's upcoming concerts (including a giant "Awadagin Pratt plays Mozart" for one in October). They were also touting a gala opening night concert with Yo-Yo Ma (sold out).
Granted, every city can't have a glamorous new concert hall smack in city center. But it said a lot about the orchestra's PRESENCE in the city to have the hall covering a whole city block, with classical music piped out to the sidewalk and giant posters all around. You couldn't ignore it.
Some idle thoughts, considering how the symphony here struggles for an audience:
1. Why not plaster the region with posters, billboards and/or bus shelters touting EACH concert?
2. Install ticket kiosks in every mall in the region, from Union Center Blvd. to Florence Mall.
3. Have a gala season opening concert with a mega-star.
4. Have a ticket kiosk in every college and university in the region, and make sure students -- and faculty members -- know about special deals.
Photo: Benaroya Hall in Seattle: Lara Swimmer
Got more ideas?