Cultural News Scoop? Not Quite. Dang.

As I crept out of Sam Adam's Creative Capacity Town Hall session at the PNCA tonight, I wondered whether I had a citizen-journalist's scoop:

Portland Jazz Festival Saved! Alaska Airlines Flies in with First Class Sponsorship!

Incoming City Commish (and Oregon Cultural Trust board member) Nick Fish mentioned the sponsorship without much detail. (Details: $50k each year for two years). He used the story as an example of a business that understands the economic value of cultural tourism.

By the time I got home, the Jazz Festival's own website had not yet posted the information. I got excited thinking that I would be posting the story before it was broken by the media elite. But the dog needed walking. With that task done, a more careful search led me to the story already posted by Luciana Lopez on Oregon Live here.

Perhaps you're more interested in what actually happened at the Creative Capacity meeting. The session attracted some 200 artists, arts managers and the cultural mafiosa that love them. It was a true example of Portlandesque Populism in action. Give me a little time to ponder it all and I'll get back to you.

Here's another discovery that everyone probably already knows: The Portland Streetcar doesn't run frequently enough! I love the streetcar. It makes me feel green, sophisticated and a wee bit European to hop on and off on my way to meetings. But to be really effective, it ought to show up more often -- every seven minutes feels about right. How much would that cost?

Fifteen minutes is too long to stand around waiting, but not quite long enough to pop in for a beer. I walked from the PNCA at NW Johnson and 12th to my bus stop at SW Park and Salmon in the same amount of time I would have waited for the next streetcar. I know the exercise on a fall evening was good for me, but I might have gotten that scoop!

1 comment:

culturejock said...

There are so many tangents I could go off on here!

* I go back and forth on the Jazz Festival thing. Given new life, I hope they will address the apathy that seems to be coming from the local jazz community, and better engage the rich talent we have locally so that it's not just about heads in beds. I also have concerns about their administrative wherewithal, as they have not been successful in securing RACC grants in the past.

* Speaking of the challenges in fundraising, I spoke to a PNCA MFA student last night who mentioned that he was a photographer, a sculptor, and a grantwriter. I said to him, I says, "Go hone those grantwriting skills! We have a dearth of arts fundraisers in this community!!!" MTC, what say you?

* Have you ever seen two City Commissioners fight to upstage each other on the arts like this? I LOVE IT!

* The "Portland Process" can be so very laborious. I do believe Sam is trying to avoid the agony and frustration that was Arts Plan 2000+, but still give citizens ample opportunities to provide very meaningful input. In what ways does this process need to be more efficient? In what ways does it need to be more extensive?

* Also unlike Arts Plan 2000, I like that the Creative Capacity endeavors to connect "the arts" with the bigger picture (school dropout rates, affordable housing, etc.). I hope more input will be sought from leaders who aren't necessarily arts advocates.

* You are SO right about the infrequency of the streetcar! The Pearl District in general is very underserved when it comes to public transportation, and a better streetcar schedule could make a huge difference. Who do we lobby for that???