What is this?

This blog will be a resource for recording thoughts, ideas, schemes, and anything else that develops on the way to forming a unified voice and center for the Charleston arts community. Everything presented here is subject to change.

How does this work?

There will be a designated set of authors who will be responsible for posting topics for discussion, to begin with anyone may comment on a discussion topic or suggest a new post but only the authors may post new topics (this is mostly to avoid spamming and over posting). In time this can develop into an online wiki or discussion board style web page of information and ideas, but at the moment a blog is the most direct, immediate and open way to track the development of the ideas being developed. if you have a suggestion or want to post please send email to

Saturday, May 24, 2008

seth curcio's notes+video from the first panel discussion in april

Creative Spaces from redux on Vimeo.
Creative Spaces – Panel notes
From Thursday, April 23, 2008

Panel Participants:
Todd Smith – former Director of the Gibbes Art Museum
Jeannette Guinn – SC Arts Commission
Jean Paul Huguley – American College of the Building Arts
Seth Curcio – Director of Redux Contemporary Art Center
Sharon Graci – Director of Pure Theatre
Mark Sloan – Director of the Halsey Institute for Contemporary Art
Linda Fantuzzo – Visual Artist
Ellen Dressler Moryl – Director of the Office of Cultural Affairs

Panel Mediator:
Marion Mazzone – Dept. Chair of Art History at the College of Charleston; President of the Redux Advisory Board

Q: What are the possibilities/constraints of downtown artists?

Mark Sloan:
• Artists have been forced to flee downtown due to rents, etc.
• Charleston has many positive developments…organize and craft some response to incorporate the arts as a necessity of downtown
Ellen Dressler Moryl:
• “The City is very interested and very concerned with keeping the artists in Charleston. We need to come together with one voice and present a sound presentation to the mayor and to the public…We are committed to helping and finding a solution”
Jeannette Guinn:
• We are in a great place to be a model for the County
• The Mols Carse (sp?) economic theory – ex: making a flatscreen tv can be done efficiently which can be cheaper; art (handcrafted) cannot be done efficiently to be made cheaper
• Aristotle said “We stand a far greater chance of hitting the target if we know what it is”
• Is this really about economic development? Social improvement? Business ventures?
• Understand the sides of economists, lenders, real estate agents, etc.

Q: What is our vision as a group?

Judith Allen, involved in Charlotte’s renovated art spaces:
• Charlotte was a business deal, so it had to be a win-win situation
• An entitlement attitude will not work
• Charlotte P.A.C. is attached to the Bank of America tower (win/win)

Other members of the audience:
• “My concern is, in this drive to be modern/contemporary, we seem to have severed our connection with the past. When I go to these fundraisers, I see young artists helping each other, not old money funding you. You should reestablish that connection and try to connect with the money that is in Charleston. We do not have the banks like Charlotte does”

On developers, business people, etc.…

• There are (were) no developers, bankers or real estate brokers at this meeting
• Also, no marketers
• Chris Price from PrimeSouth turned down the offer to come speak on our panel or even attend the panel meeting.

• Do developers feel that artists are too wild and outlandish to work with?
• Art interests tend to build value, so why would developers turn us down?
• Any point of recycling a building will take a rezoning of the neighborhood and lots of jumping through hoops
• “It’s the role of artists to understand their roles as a business”
• the intrinsic value of the arts for arts sake
Todd Smith:
• Audiences that support us need to be the ones advocating for our organizations
Audience member:
• Has the group partnered and allied with the city council or any politicians?

We need to realize what Charleston values, so… what does it value?
• Audiences
• Philanthropic Communities

• Memminger Auditorium is currently being used for Spoleto Performances – what about during the rest of the year? Possibly looking to use Memminger for alternative art spaces during non-Spoleto times

• Young people will not move here if there is not a younger, vibrant art scene

• Money talks. Businesses and developers would miss us a lot if we were not here. The quality of life would be harmed.

• Is it such a crazy idea to suggest that we all work together to get a multi-use building?
• Redux looked to its partners to ban together our resources
Jonathan Brilliant:
• We should see each other’s spaces and try to collaborate
List of Tasks:
• Figure out how much space is really needed
• Figure out what types of spaces are needed
• Figure our how to make it a high honor for businesses to benefit the art scene
• Creatively think about our city parks
• Think about how we can make Charleston a model for art scenes around the country
• Expand diversity. Almost all of our audiences and art groups are white
• Be innovative about how we think about ourselves and our art