8.28.2009

A Call to Arms

I'd like to depart from my usual reticence of talking politics (briefly) and bring an issue of great personal importance to your attention.

You know that I love the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival and you know that I love libraries (especially my library). These two wonderful powers for good have joined forces to propose a Center for Story and Art (one of many proposed titles of the project that would include an auditorium with a large stage and seating for around 600, large classrooms, backstage amenities, a lobby, and offices) that would be shared between them as well as offer meeting and performance spaces to the community at large. Sadly, unscrupulous forces (boo, hiss) at work are attempting through lies and threats to destroy any chance of fruition and it would appear that the Mayor and City Council are succumbing. I refuse to be silent on the issue so I ask that you humor me for a few more minutes.

Reasons to build:

1. The library routinely puts on programs that are very well attended. These programs, in fact, are so well attended that people are sometimes actually turned away at the door or the event becomes standing room only (not ideal when the program lasts for 2 hours!!!). Clearly the library needs more space.

2. The Timpanogos Storytelling Festival
attracts more than 40,000 individuals each year to its events. It is considered one of premier Storytelling festivals in the world. It brings thousands of people into the city each year. And yet it does not have a permanent physical presence in the city. I believe it has proven that it deserves such a presence and am very excited about the further events it plans to put on if such a building is built.

3. There is currently no other venue in the city that can provide a quality space for performances and other gatherings. (And those of you who are familiar with my city do not even say the word Scera as they are not available to local performing groups and have nothing whatsoever to do with the word quality--I have strong feelings on this I tell you.) Furthermore, many local performing groups have already voiced their avid support to this proposed plan--or in other words, it would get used!

How it is to be funded:

1. By funds gathered by the existing CARE Tax (Cultural Arts and Recreation tax)--money gathered for the express purpose of arts and recreation--this means no new taxes and no increase in taxes.

2. By grant money (our blessed U.S. Congress has already set aside money for the building).

3. By private donations--private donations haven't even been officially sought yet and already 1 million dollars has been pledged.

So there you have it. I think it is an excellent idea (obviously). To this end I have started to my own campaign to get this proposal accepted.

Step One:

Get a letter to the editor published in my local newspaper. As of this morning step one is complete. Read
here to see my letter online.

Step Two:

Convince you to make a comment in support of my letter online (or even write your own letter to the editor in support of the proposed Center For Story and Art). You have to register to do so but that is what junk email addresses are for, right. Please, please, please.

Step Three:

Convince you (and lots of people) to write letters to and call the Mayor and City Council. For those of you who are think "but I don't even live in your city" I still think it is totally appropriate for you to comment, write, and call as a) we are getting Federal money--that is your money--and b) the Center will be utilized to benefit those who live beyond the boundaries of the city. So again I say please, please, please.

Write to (you can write 1 letter and they will make copies for all):

Mayor Washburn and Orem City Council
76 North State Street
Orem, Utah 84057

Call:

801 229-7035

Email:

Mayor Jerry Washburn jcwashburn@orem.org

City Council:

Margaret Black mbblack@orem.org
Carl Hernandez chernandez@orem.org
Dean Dickerson ddickerson@orem.org
Karen McCandless kamccandless@orem.org
Mark Seastrand meseastrand@orem.org
Shiree Thurston sathurston@orem.org

I am now stepping off my soapbox, ceasing all melodramatics, and looking forward to a fantastic afternoon.

1 comment:

Kevin said...

Thank you for your great article on this is very important subject.Very informative and easy read.Hope so i will get the futhur updates in future.


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