How a Theater Can Change a City

In this Chicago Tribune article, Chris Jones highlights how Aurora's downtown has been significantly impacted by the Paramount Theatre. It's an interesting read about how a single arts organization can impact an entire city. Jones points out that part of the theater's success is its focus on mainstream, family-friendly entertainment: "Family entertainment with familiar titles often attracts a far more diverse audience than socio-political drama foregrounding race. All Americans like to have a good time out with the people they love and...

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Can You Tell Me How to Get to … a Nice Downtown?

James Fallows' article "Nice Downtowns: How Did They Get That Way?" in The Atlantic brings to mind Jim's posts about ecosystem, specifically NYC's Broadway and L.A.'s Theatre Row ecosystems. Fallows writes: "It's tempting, if you haven't seen the varied stages of this process, to imagine that some cities just 'naturally' have attractive and successful downtowns, and others just don't happen to. ... But in every city we've visited with a good downtown, we've heard accounts of the long, deliberate process...

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Bright Ideas

Create An Event, and You Might Change the Place Where It Happens

I talk a lot about the interplay between event and place, and this is a great example. No event lives in a vacuum, so if you're part of an organization (or group of organizations) large enough to change the dynamics of the place where your event is (or would be), you can create a synergistic effect. In this case, Tony Hsieh of Zappos and others are working hard to create an anchor event, the Life is Beautiful Festival, to bring...

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