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 …

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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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