Wednesday, December 07, 2005

According to the Titusville Herald:
Plans continue to move ahead to develop an arts revitalization program for the downtown shopping district in Oil City. The idea centers around bringing specialty stores with artisans to help bolster the cityƂ’s future as a destination point of shopping.

A non-profit group will now be formed to begin the process of converting vacant stores into new business establishments. The plan is one of nine economic possibilities that the city explored earlier this year as ways of creating new interest in the downtown area.

I think they'd be better off dropping the money from the transit building - for some odd reason this region has a sudden obsession about consultants. Everything I've heard about this plan though stinks - underfunded, little regional, as opposed to local, involvement, and saddled with a lack of understanding about local artists. The follow up announcement also revealed that the 19K Oil City government had originally promised no longer exists. Full disclosure - Two years ago I proposed a similar program to the Oil City mayor at the time - my proposal centered around recruiting out of state artists and luring them here with cheap real estate - I never heard back. Which of course, then, makes this sound like sour grapes - but it's a subject I thought out endlessly while preparign the proposal and everything I have heard about their plan suggests money pit, boondoggle, and disappointment.

Titusville however is a different story - they're going through a mini reniassance downtown with some artsy anchors such as Four Sons leading the way. Now, local potter Don Lombardo has moved his Brown Stone Studio to downtown Titusville (104 Diamond St) where he will offer original works of his own as well as those of other artists, crafters, jewelry makers and photographers.

Let's think about some last minute Venango Gifts - today I'm recommending Venango County Resident Eric Day's book. The Fifth Crystal. It's a sci-fi epic, written from the heart and, I also have no doubt, that Eric would be glad to inscribe it for gift giving purposes.

On a brighter note, what says Christmas more than Run DMC's "Christmas in Hollis"?


Anonymous said...

Don is an exceptionally talented potter. Hopefully, his initiative will be the start of an influx of talent.

Dittman said...

I couldn't agree more!