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orlandouprise

Orlando Museum of Art Downtown property?

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Don't hate me but I've been skeptical on this since it was announced. We had a new exec come into town looking to make a splash as he followed in the footsteps of his longtime predecessor (a changing of the guard I applauded, as stodgy thinking has been part of OMA's problem for at least the last decade) not totally realizing just how scarce funds can be for the arts in our relatively new metropolis.

I'm not opposed to an OMA facility downtown (although I wonder if they have the breadth of management to pull off two locations.) The best case scenario was that a new donor was coming into the fold with deep pockets who could change the trajectory of things.

The relative silence since then suggests this is not the case. OMA has long been the weak link of the visual arts institutions hereabouts. The direct and indirect ties with Rollins College and, as a result, the moneyed set of Winter Park have kept the Morse, Cornell and Polasek ahead of OMA for support. Unless something changes that (or the wealthy folks on the south end of town suddenly embrace OMA), I'll be surprised if this happens.

Edited by spenser1058

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3 hours ago, sunshine said:

calling Disney and Universal...

Our current titans in that part of town are not as supportive of philanthropy with the "downtown crowd" as some have been in the past. Until that changes, I wouldn't look too longingly in that direction.

George Kalogridis, current president of WDW, is a  product of Winter Haven and a UCF alum who started his Disney career at the Contemporary in 1972 (as a busboy). He's been a godsend to our gay community as a symbol of inclusiveness at the region's largest employer. George is legendary among cast members for looking out for them. He also adheres fervently to the WWWD ("What Would Walt Do?") approach to guest service. Most importantly for UP'ers, he has never hesitated to ask Burbank for all the capital improvements necessary to keep "plussing" the theme park experience and  ensuring backstage areas also keep up.

Nevertheless, both because of his ops background and the fact he spent more of his career outside Florida than other recent presidents, he'll probably never be as involved with United Arts members as were Meg Crofton (his predecessor) or even Al Weiss (thanks in part to his ties with Niki Bryan). Before them, Dick Nunis mostly treated the Florida property as an island unto itself until he got heavily involved with UCF late in his career (Dick treated UCF as a discrete entity in the region much like the Mouse House and during his period of influence as a Trustee of the school - including as chairman - it pulled back from downtown).

Tom Wiiliams at Universal has also stayed mostly at arm's length from involvement with downtown. Both Disney and Uni do what's required to keep local officials content, but it's not a passion the way it was with Meg.

Lockheed Martin has been much the same, especially since the former of the two acquired the latter. Any role Sea World played disappeared after Nick Gollattschek left the scene (his dad was longtime prez of Valencia).

Finally, Harris Rosen has never had much use for downtown Orlando and its activities (indeed, he egged Rich Crotty on with the whole "Downtown Orange County" idea.) Harris also seems to prefer social philanthropy, with great work on behalf of Tangelo Park, the JCC and, ironically, support of Parramore residents.

Maybe someone up and coming in the tourism industry will buy a house on Lake Davis or something to reestablish ties with the core. Unless that happens, I wouldn't expect a lot of support from that area.

Edited by spenser1058
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7 minutes ago, prahaboheme said:

Isn't Tavistock rumored to be behind a potential new location for OMA?

That's what I heard but it's been radio silence ever since it was first floated. Assuming that's still in play, I would have expected some progress or at least a few more rumors. Maybe he decided he wanted it at Lake Nona (kidding! I think *sigh*)

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20 minutes ago, spenser1058 said:

That's what I heard but it's been radio silence ever since it was first floated. Assuming that's still in play, I would have expected some progress or at least a few more rumors. Maybe he decided he wanted it at Lake Nona (kidding! I think *sigh*)

You may not be far off given the recent approval of another 1800 acres of development at Lake Nona! 

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10 hours ago, spenser1058 said:

The relative silence since then suggests this is not the case. OMA has long been the weak link of the visual arts institutions hereabouts. The direct and indirect ties with Rollins College and, as a result, the moneyed set of Winter Park have kept the Morse, Cornell and Polasek ahead of OMA for support. Unless something changes that (or the wealthy folks on the south end of town suddenly embrace OMA), I'll be surprised if this happens.

OMA is one of the largest budget orgs in town. Morse museum operations are entirely endowed by the Genius Foundations. Cornell is an arm of Rollins College, so they can't really be compared as organizations mainly supported by private philanthropy. Polasek is small potatoes with a budget under $1 Million, while OMA is four times their budget size.

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I agree with all of that. I was thinking more in relative terms of who could be called upon with deep pockets for a second museum.

The problem comes, in my opinion, with anyone who is passionate enough about OMA to do that. Relative to the WP institutions, OMA has always seemed to be the generic utility you send a check to because you're supposed to, not because it stirs your soul.

Edited by spenser1058
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Why don't they just move the current Orlando Art Museum into downtown instead of having two? I think a great location would be that parking lot in between East Pine and East Church and South Rosalind near the church. That would put it right near the library and the Dr. Phillips Center for performing arts. That would be three artsy things within walking distance of each other and would be huge for downtown. Would really add to the walkability.

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I haven't been particularly moved by their recent acquisitions, aside from the Rockwell Kent.  This is the type of museum that would benefit from an urban location where they can expand their offerings to the community and showcase more daring exhibitions.

The ICA in Boston managed to get themselves into new digs about a decade ago and the institution really came to life.

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16 hours ago, spenser1058 said:

Don't hate me but I've been skeptical on this since it was announced. We had a new exec come into town looking to make a splash as he followed in the footsteps of his longtime predecessor (a changing of the guard I applauded, as stodgy thinking has been part of OMA's problem for at least the last decade) not totally realizing just how scarce funds can be for the arts in our relatively new metropolis.

I'm not opposed to an OMA facility downtown (although I wonder if they have the breadth of management to pull off two locations.) The best case scenario was that a new donor was coming into the fold with deep pockets who could change the trajectory of things.

The relative silence since then suggests this is not the case. OMA has long been the weak link of the visual arts institutions hereabouts. The direct and indirect ties with Rollins College and, as a result, the moneyed set of Winter Park have kept the Morse, Cornell and Polasek ahead of OMA for support. Unless something changes that (or the wealthy folks on the south end of town suddenly embrace OMA), I'll be surprised if this happens.

Wait I was always under the impression they were moving, not adding another location. I assumed the current spot would be vacated. Have they said anything about keeping both?

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6 hours ago, popsiclebrandon said:

Wait I was always under the impression they were moving, not adding another location. I assumed the current spot would be vacated. Have they said anything about keeping both?

The discussions I've heard indicate it would be a satellite. Moving OMA entirely would require quite a chunk of real estate. Unless they were able to secure land on city-owned property, it would seem cost-prohibitive to do downtown.

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I also have to put in a good word for Loch Haven generally. I think having an arts park has the potential for something great, especially if it can eventually be linked with light rail (even a connection to an expanded Lymmo would be a positive.) 

It would be good to add some dining and beverage options within the park and let's ditch some of the surface parking, but the concept is still a good one imho.

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I don't think money is a problem here: under the Florida statutes governing how tourist development taxes can be spent, museums are a venue type that the Orange County hotel tax revenue can be spent on.  There is probably a better case for an OMA on steroids to enhance tourism than the performing arts center; think of all of the traveling blockbuster exhibitions, requiring large blocks of space over months, that the current venue cannot host that could be successfully staged in a more prominent venue downtown.  Cities like New York, London, and Paris heavily promote these exhibitions as part of their tourism promotion strategy, and Orlando could certainly join this circuit of large cultural exhibitions that originate from the likes of the Smithsonian and the V&A. Pure speculation here, but if I was to go public with a proposal that includes public funds, I'd probably have a bulletproof strategy in place before going to the public.  That includes a solid business case with revenue projections, cornerstone partners, and, of course, plans for a world-class building.  Perhaps there is silence because of a private entity, outside of the reach of sunshine laws, who is developing the proposal.  Given that there will be heavy public debate once that proposal is presented, especially if taxes are involved, then silence is good.  Anyhow, the timing right now isn't appropriate because the 2nd phase of the performing arts center just started construction...

Just my two cents...

Edited by jliv

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The museum does not have to be a 500 millions project to make it an attractions. Yes, I would support a lavish museum the size of Smithsonian or Guggenheim but Orlando does not have the leadership persons to pull this off.

Daly museum is in the range of 30 millions. Even Morse museum in Winter Park has more pull than OMA. Those would be a good example for downtown Orlando.

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On 8/8/2017 at 5:55 AM, jliv said:

I don't think money is a problem here: under the Florida statutes governing how tourist development taxes can be spent, museums are a venue type that the Orange County hotel tax revenue can be spent on.  There is probably a better case for an OMA on steroids to enhance tourism than the performing arts center; think of all of the traveling blockbuster exhibitions, requiring large blocks of space over months, that the current venue cannot host that could be successfully staged in a more prominent venue downtown.  Cities like New York, London, and Paris heavily promote these exhibitions as part of their tourism promotion strategy, and Orlando could certainly join this circuit of large cultural exhibitions that originate from the likes of the Smithsonian and the V&A. Pure speculation here, but if I was to go public with a proposal that includes public funds, I'd probably have a bulletproof strategy in place before going to the public.  That includes a solid business case with revenue projections, cornerstone partners, and, of course, plans for a world-class building.  Perhaps there is silence because of a private entity, outside of the reach of sunshine laws, who is developing the proposal.  Given that there will be heavy public debate once that proposal is presented, especially if taxes are involved, then silence is good.  Anyhow, the timing right now isn't appropriate because the 2nd phase of the performing arts center just started construction...

Just my two cents...

The I-Drive interests are very concerned with keeping every cent of TDT to support them as possible, and aren't very happy about the DPAC cost overruns. There was an OC Charter Amendment that was within one or two vote of being put on the ballot that would allow the TDC (a non-governmental industry group) the power to literally control all of the TDT that was collected. The Science Center has a shovel-ready expansion that the commission has not been interested in directing TDT towards, and there are other potentially-eligible cultural projects that would love to have access to some of that money (Orlando Ballet facility, the Philharmonic's project at the Plaza Live, another museum looking at a site downtown, etc.) While it COULD happen, it would take a major shift in the winds, and be supported by the parks and core hoteliers. 

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On 8/3/2017 at 8:45 PM, orange87 said:

Why don't they just move the current Orlando Art Museum into downtown instead of having two? I think a great location would be that parking lot in between East Pine and East Church and South Rosalind near the church. That would put it right near the library and the Dr. Phillips Center for performing arts. That would be three artsy things within walking distance of each other and would be huge for downtown. Would really add to the walkability.

Which Church?

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