I was invited to participate in a panel discussion this morning. The topic was "Strengthening Relationships Between Artist's and Post Industrial Pennsylvania Communities. Readers of this blog likely know by now that I think that the level of communication and team play among all levels of the arts community here sucks and I refrained from hitting people mainly because I think there are hopeful signs of change.
The aim of the project is to help post-industrial Pennsylvanian communities sutain and attract artists. For the most part they are working off a base of existing and fairly dated research and of course they "seriously want input" but will come up with the final study in a month. They used six cities as case studies-- Paducah, KY; Providence, RI; Santa Anna, CA; Sante Fe, NM; Toronto, Canada and Ashville, NC. This meeting the presenters showed thier initial findings which were pretty obvious and non controversial. In the next month they intend to delve into Pittsburgh's specific needs more fully. Many Pennsylvania towns have or are starting initiatives to attract artists, who have proven effective and pliable tools for gentrification efforts.I will try to hold my breath and temper untill the end. Clearly, the young people conducting the study are very sincere as were many of the others at the meeting.