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Comment Archives: Stories: Arts+Movies: Theater: Last 7 Days

Re: “Could the crush of development mean curtains for the peninsula's theaters?

Sadly, these issues are nothing new. The arts community in Charleston has been struggling with the same questions and the same space / occupancy issues since the mid-1990s. As the director of the Arts Council who led a visionary study in 1994 which identified exactly the same questions, I've seen and heard all the issues. In Charleston, we have a dearth of affordable real estate, and lack neglected industrial areas which are the typical areas where arts projects flourish. Arts incubators like the one in Alexandria, Virginia started in industrial buildings in depressed areas. Charleston has lacked any sort of downtrodden area with masses of abandoned spaces into which the arts community could blossom. There was a slight glimmer with John Knott and the Noisette development in North Charleston...but that was a non-starter. As your article points out, it requires a rainmaker with capital to front the restoration expense of a neglected building. While Charleston has had a number of people who have funded the arts for years, these benefactors are passing on. And even if an organization had a benefactor, the organization still must have the ability to financially sustain a space after development - and ticket prices rarely account for more than a fraction of the cost of upkeep. I have hoped that Enough Pie will stimulate development in the Neck. Sadly, the desire for a clustered mixed arts district remains elusive in our community.

3 of 3 people like this.
Posted by Connection Maven on November 18, 2017 at 8:01 AM
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