Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Gang most of the artistic entertainment entities downtown to create a powerful Cultural Trust district and build the audience
A former Pittsburgh mayor spoke to local leaders Tuesday about the goal of transforming the region's identity by building stronger partnerships among arts organizations, elected officials and private investors.
"You can make that happen," said Tom Murphy, now a senior research fellow with the Urban Land Institute. He led Pittsburgh between 1994 and 2005. "If we did it in a rundown, rustbelt city, you can do it here."
Murphy spoke at the Strand Theatre as a guest of the Shreveport-Bossier City Regional Arts Congress. The roughly 3-year-old effort has pushed local arts organizations to work together and support economic development, among other goals.
Murphy spoke about how Pittsburgh lost 150,000 jobs between 1978 and 1985, after which community leaders — elected officials, private investors and arts organizations — decided to establish, build and, in part, publicly fund a Cultural Trust district dedicated to the arts.
He even described how tax dollars can help to rebuild the symphony's funding. Please see more of Kent's report here.