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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Finding PLACE

The other day, there was a presentation at the Kaplan. The Powers that Be have ignored local folks. But as with the saying "An Expert is someone from out of town" they brought in some mavens from out of town, and with the input from those folks they seem to be getting closer to the right idea:

"A meeting to help shape Brunswick’s future took place Monday inside the brick shell of the four-story former Kaplon department store. About 20 business people, elected leaders and nonprofit redevelopers considered options to fill space in the city with a combination of arts venues, small stores and places to live on any income."

Projects Linking Art, Community & Environment (PLACE)

Of course there are local artists and other people who would also be interested in this, but they didn't get the invite.

"Chris Velasco and Elizabeth Bowling, principals with Projects Linking Art, Community & Environment, or PLACE, shared the group’s experience around the country reclaiming environmentally degraded sites, run-down neighborhoods and abandoned buildings. Their nonprofit works with the community, leaders and property owners to imagine and manage redesigned places."

This sounds amazingly like my "Arts Community Systems" concept.

"PLACE is a nonprofit team collaborating with cities to design and build vibrant places for people to live, work and pursue their dreams. Our projects create opportunities for people across the income spectrum, demonstrate profound environmental design, and empower the community to participate in every aspect of the development process." [what is place?]

And:

"PLACE’s mission is to create places that foster a sustainable, just and inspiring world." [mission]

Apparently PLACE is from Minnesota and they are pushing a project there for an Arts Community. But the idea is replicable and they have projects across the country.

Anyway they were pitching the idea of attracting artists and others to Brunswick. It's a great idea. A logical one and something any artist, educated resident or other person who cares about Brunswick would want to make a reality. Do they have the juice to do it? I hope so. I'm interested. I'd love to talk to them and get them talking to some of my other friends. Do they have the Juice? They claim they do:

"Their leadership can help leverage funding for a site and associated projects, Velasco said. [News Article]

Key is the ability and willingness of local businessmen and landlord to invest in such a concept:

“This is the secret sauce right here,” Velasco said, referring to stakeholders present in the empty building at 102 W. Potomac St." [News Article]

We've had our hopes raised before.

Mayor Karin Tome and council members Carroll Jones and Angel White attended the event, which was organized by Terri Householder, the city’s economic development coordinator. Householder and Brunswick Main Street nonprofit leaders Lee Zumbach and Abbie Ricketts greeted property owners, city and county economic development representatives, and County Councilman Jerry Donald." [News Article]

Further Reading

Website: http://www.welcometoplace.org/
Frederick News Post Article:
http://www.fredericknewspost.com/news/politics_and_government/budget_and_tax/brunswick-listens-to-a-new-way-of-thinking-about-redevelopment/article_de776039-7f0b-5b36-90ae-7e96de2fbee2.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=user-share

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