Thursday, May 19, 2011

Still Listening for Hellhounds

Here's an excerpt of a new piece I've written about the City of Richmond's longstanding bad attitude toward the entertainment industry:
...Now, in Richmond, to invoke the specter of the 6th Street Marketplace’s utter failure is to speak of folly, of good intentions gone wrong. Public money was used to build and dismantle it.

Since 1985, using public money, Richmond has also built a convention center and a canal walk. It has built the CenterStage complex. If all the money it has cost taxpayers to finance such projects, since 1985, was laid out in a row of one dollar bills, it would stretch halfway to Cloud Nine.

Probably the best thing that has happened in/to Downtown Richmond in the last decade has been the First Fridays Art Walk, which was born and has thrived without the City of Richmond‘s help. In fact, so far, City Hall has done far more to undermine this monthly event, which has art lovers strolling from one gallery to the next, than to help it.

In addition to raining stifling regulations onto the First Friday parade City Hall has passed new statutes to discourage nightlife in Richmond, in general. Now, it seems Richmond’s City Council wants everyone to go home to dance. And, once there you’d better keep the music turned down way low — perhaps headphones would be better.

Meanwhile, as its policies strangle the life out of art galleries, nightclubs and theaters, the City goes on saying it wants to attract tourists and conventioneers to Downtown Richmond. Click here to read "Listening for Hellhounds" in its entirety at the Fan District Hub.

No comments: