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City Scrapes: Building the arts

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The Tobin Center (2011 plan)


We seem to have a natural constituency for building new buildings. A larger convention center holds out the hope for local hoteliers of more hotel business. The County funds for the Alameda accommodate some folks interested in more activity and business on the west side of downtown. The money for the Briscoe provides a new home for what was a failing institution in Kerrville. The Tobin Center both honors the financial commitment of the late Robert L. B. Tobin, but also offers the potential of (maybe) spurring more activity and development along the expanded Museum Reach of the river. Lots of buildings with lots of expectations and benefits for private developers. But not necessarily a more vibrant, genuinely local, arts scene

Might we as a community have chosen a different path if the alternative had been offered? Might we have chosen to invest in a real city museum rather than a building for western art with an 800-square-foot space devoted to explaining our rich history? Might we have preferred a symphony (or other arts organization) that was well financed and assured a real future, to a bulky building? Investing in building organizations and people rather than bricks and mortar should have been discussed and debated. It wasn’t

Maybe now it’s time to open up the discussion

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