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

Friday, June 27, 2008

Architects from Columbia

So I'm very excited that Brian Balzer from Watson Tate Savory architects in Columbia will be joining us for the July 1 panel discussion. His firm is well versed in sustainable renovations, and was, if I'm not mistaken, designed the first LEED certified building for University of South Carolina. Check out their website www.watsontatesavory.com
I think that it would be fantastic to incorporate sustainable architecture into the people's art center...


Looking Forward

It's been wonderful talking to the art community and working with the members of the Charleston Arts Coalition on this exciting project.  I can't walk past a vacant building in Charleston without visualizing a potential home for the arts center.  I can already see artists at work through the windows and giant bulletin boards filled with upcoming events on the walls.  The July 1 roundtable discussion is just another step in helping this amazing city achieve such a place.


Happy Canada Day!!

I think it’s appropriate that this discussion is to take place on July 1st, which to me will always be Canada Day. Canada Day is Canada’s Birthday because on this day in 1867 the British colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the Federation Provinces of Canada finally joined together to form one unifying country.

So this is an appropriate day for the arts organizations of Charleston (namely Redux Contemporary Art and Pure Theater and others) to discuss a plan to amalgamate into one facility in downtown Charleston.

Additionally, it is regarded that Canada became a kingdom in its own right on that date, in 1867. The British Parliament at first kept limited rights of political control over the new country, which were shed by stages over the years until the last vestiges were ended in 1982, when the Constitution Act patriated the Canadian constitution.

This slow release from Britain is why Canada Day is not referred to or treated as an “Independence Day” as in other countries. The day does not commemorate a clear-cut date of complete independence.

Just so you know! Happy Canada Day!!


Sunday, June 22, 2008

what we can do now to get ready for the panel

as the panel gets closer, and the weather moves from spring to summer now is a good time to contemplate what we can do. while having lunch with our moderator buff ross he reminded me of another grand model for integrating arts and culture into the fabric of a city, the Yerba Buena center for the arts and the yerba buena alliance. We also talked about how the panel is a chance for everyone to get on the same page in developing a unified center. One analogy for our project could be something like the Charleston Visitors center relationship to tourism. The People's art center would be a unifier and access point to the larger arts, music, theater, and literature communities of Charleston. Rather than competing with or supplanting another cultural institution's role in our community, the Peoples art center would be the visitors center for the arts in Charleston. We are at a unique moment in Charleston's cultural history, and we are poised to take an active role in developing the direction that history can take.
What we can do now is put our ideas, questions, examples of other models and ideas for discussion topics down in email format and shoot them over to questions@peoplesartcenter.com
all questions will be compiled and used to help develop the flow of the panel and to make sure that as many voices as possible are represented


Thursday, June 19, 2008

after weeks of phone and email tag here it is

Contact: Jonathan Brilliant or Megan Lange questions@peoplesartcenter.com (843) 805-8052


The People’s Art Center of Charleston Roundtable Discussion Scheduled for July 1
The Charleston Arts Coalition “Creative Spaces: Developing a unified Center for the Arts ”

CHARLESTON, South Carolina (June 10, 2008)—Open discussion to be held on July 1 at 7:00p.m, Creative Spaces: Developing a unified Center for the Arts, to follow up the Creative Spaces panel discussion hosted at Redux Contemporary Art Center on April 24, 2008. All interested parties are invited to join the newly created Charleston Arts Coalition from 6:30 – 8:00 PM at Theater 99 on July 1, 2008.

The format for the follow-up meeting on Tuesday will be more of a roundtable discussion and continuation of the conversation that began in April. The panel will consist of at least Chris Price, of PrimeSouth Group, LLC, urban planner Tripp Muldrow, of Arnett Muldrow & Associates, Jonathan Brilliant local artist and staff member of the Gibbes, and Fred Delk of Columbia Development Corp., with Buff Ross, serving as moderator. The panel is comprised of individuals that have worked on collaborative projects similar to the vision of The Peoples Arts Center. The goal is to create a roadmap of what action needs to be taken based on successful examples of Arts center development in other cities in the Southeast.

The panel discussion at Redux in April was a rare moment for Charleston artists, musicians, performers, writers, and patrons to discuss the rapidly diminishing real estate available to the arts in Charleston. Panel members and the more than 100 people in attendance discussed this issue.

From this panel discussion, the Charleston Arts Coalition was formed. It is a group of artists, arts professionals and members of the community who have joined together to work towards creating an all inclusive unified center for the arts, encompassing visual, performance, music and literary art. Their goal is to find and modify real estate through out the city of Charleston, to house production, presentation and education space for the creative arts. The ultimate project goal is the creation of the people’s Art Center.

The purpose of the first panel discussion held at Redux was to open a dialogue about the lack of art space in Charleston. The focus of the follow-up on July 1 will be on how to effectively begin to solve this problem and foster collaborations between the arts and the real estate development community.

The arts are a vital part of Charleston, benefiting the economy, tourism, real estate and the general cultural capitol of the city. The arts in Charleston must be advanced through the development of a space that could provide the living artists of Charleston with support and a venue to interact effectively with the public. This would foster collaboration among artistic disciplines enhancing each other and the community through exciting cultural events throughout the year.

Visitors planning on attending the event on July 1 are encouraged to draft questions and email them to questions@peoplesartcenter.com ahead of time as there will only be minimal time to answer questions the night of the event. Theatre 99 has graciously offered their space to host the discussion in a format that will accommodate a large audience comfortably. Theatre 99 is located at 280 Meeting Street, downtown Charleston, South Carolina, above the Bicycle Shoppe, with an entrance to the upstairs at the rear of the building. (843) 853-6687

Visit www.peoplesartcenter.com for more information about the roundtable discussion and to see some of the ideas being discussed.


Monday, June 9, 2008

Some ideas from Andrea

About potential names:
The NexArt Center
The nexus of art; it's what's next for art; going forward together.....

check out this web site from the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo <www.acgt.org>.
They've just begun a project that resembles what we're discussing--
production, presentation and living— "Live Work Create Toledo"

Live Work Create Toledo is a City of Toledo initiative to attract the creative talents and energy of artists to revitalize our Downtown and its surrounding neighborhoods. The program will facilitate the development of incentives to leverage the creative talent of individual artists and our cultural assets to spur economic growth, build community prosperity, and transform our central city neighborhoods.

Working with real estate agents, businesses, artists, arts organizations, and homeowners in communities, the City seeks to attract artists and concentrate our existing artist population to become permanent residents and business owners in our central city. The Arts Commission of Greater Toledo is working with the City to develop a package of tax credits, professional development opportunities, and grants and with banks to establish favorable lending terms for artists. Together with an emphasis on the cultural assets that Toledo already supports, Toledo will be competitive with other cities and programs across the country in attracting and retaining artists who are critical to the development of a creative economy in our region.

The "creative economy" is a great leveraging point with the Mayor and other stakeholders. It's going to take some time to develop an educated workforce to attract more hi-tech firms-- BUT there is a base/foundation here and now around the creative economy.

Other resource to Check out www.paducaharts.com or www.lowertownartdistrict.com about Paducah, KY .
Artist Relocation Program
At a time when funding for the arts is constantly being cut, Paducah has established an environment where artists and the arts are flourishing. Paducah’s Artist Relocation Program was started in August of 2000 and is now a national model for using the arts for economic development. The Artist Relocation Program has been awarded the Governors Award in the Arts, the Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence, The American Planning Association National Planning Award and most recently Kentucky League of Cities Enterprise Cities Award. Please see our awards section for more details.

While we don't need to relocate artists here-- there are bound to be strategies and points from this effort that translate to ours.



Sunday, June 8, 2008

Price for Art

On Friday June 6th Seth Cursio and I met with Chris Price of PrimeSouth Group. The overall feeling of the hour and a half meeting was positive and Chris has confirmed his attendance at the July 1st panel discussion at Theater 99. Very encouraging of the task force's ideas about a 'Model Art Center' Chris Price was happy to be be involved in the project. He advised us to establish exactly what we need as soon as possible. We need to decide what organizations will be needing floor space in this multi function facility. Then establish the specific operational demands of each organization as far as square footage and ceiling hight. In this brain storming session Price focused mainly on building a new facility on the peninsula.