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ncbrian

Could Winston support a downtown museum/art gallery?

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One thing I enjoyed living in the many cities I have had in my life is the ability to go to a museum to satisfy my intellectual curiosity. Whether it is the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto ON or the Frankfurt Art Gallery, or the Cummer Art Gallery in Jacksonville FL, I appreciate going to the museum or art gallery and lose myself amongst the exhibits for hours on end.

Winston is not without its own museums and galleries like the SECCA on Reynolda Rd, the Horton Museum and the Children's Museum in Old Salem but I wonder if Winston can support a grander museum dedicated to some special theme like Natural History or Science or a speciality Art Gallery. I remember going to Reynolda House and in conversation with the curator was told that much of the American Art collection that is part of the Reynolds collection is in storage or on loan to various other galleries or museums because the Reynolda House had no room to display it all.

A museum does not have to be high brow as witness by the success of the Nascar museum on Martin Luther King Drive. There are far too many museums in various cities that are merely mausoleums in their downtown areas because of a poor understanding of what brings people to them.

But Winston needs to draw people downtown and one sure way of doing it is providing entertainment attractions and that is what a museum or an art gallery fundamentally does. It entertains you.

So what would work downtown and what scale? In my opinion, an art gallery located in the Arts District in a revitalised building on Liberty or Trade dedicated to early American Art with contributions from the Reynolds collection will be a good start. Another is the SciWorks currently located on University and relocated downtown as the core of an Interactive Science Museum that collaborates with the school district in providing knowledge to school age children.

Any more ideas?

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i would go big since this is "the city of the arts." i wouldnt mind secca relocating or adding a DT extension of its musem. its in such a weird location, that a move would more than likely, increase the museum's attendance.

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What a great idea!

SciWorks should have been built downtown, but was done before the idea of downtown rvitalization.

I definitely think the first class Museum of Anthropology at Wake Forest's main campus would be much better downtown; there would be more visibility, higher profile, and many more visitors.

Also, as indicated on another forum (or maybe it was this one?), I mentioned the artcle a couple of weeks ago about Wake Forest putting up for sale the Cyclorama; the enormous circular Battle of Gettysburg. It is in very bad condition, and would be expensive to repair, but of the four produced, it is one of only two remaining; the other (undergoing renovation) by the National Park Service. It would require an enormous building in addition to the hefty price tag for repair, but what a major, major attraction for the city and the State for that matter! I think there should be a local fund raiser to keep it in Winston-Salem, and build a museum for it. It was sought, tracked over many many years by the slightly eccentric, but internationally known artist and Winston-Salemite, Joe King. It will be a shame for it to leave W-S. Some might also recall that Joe King was very very close (number two on the list) in acquiring the London Bridge, which of course, was dismantled and moved to Lake Havasu, Arizona where it is a major attraction.

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I'd like to see the Millenium Center be converted into a world-renowned art gallery. This is one of our best kept secrets that is ready at anytime to explode into something fabulous! Actually that could also be a great club or something of the sort. That is truly a wonderful building and in a prime location.

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Given Winston-Salem's strong historic commitment to the arts, the community would definitely support a downtown museum. It is a city that's second to New York in terms of numbers of theater seats sold proportionate to population, founded the first Arts Council, had a native son help found the NEA and raised the funds to found the School of the Arts in a weekend.

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is a city that's second to New York in terms of numbers of theater seats sold proportionate to population,

Jeeze, how is that possible? :shok: I never knew that! I never thought anything was worth seeing at the Steven's Center but gosh!

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Jeeze, how is that possible? :shok: I never knew that! I never thought anything was worth seeing at the Steven's Center but gosh!

You didn't just say that?!? Let's see, there's the Winston-Salem Symphony, The Nutcracker Ballet (NCSA/W-S Symphony every Christmas for a week or so), National Black Repertory, Riverrun Film Festival, multiple concerts, plays, dance performances by NCSA students, Films on Fourth, Piedmont Opera Theatre, Shakespeare Festival, concerts by people like Alison Krauss, various choruses, performance artists like DJ Spooky, spoken word like Prairie Home Companion and Ira Glass, etc. Additionally, there's RJ Reynolds Auditorium which plays host to Handel's Messiah, Maya Angelou's benefit for Brenner Children's Hosp, traveling quartets & symphonies, etc. There are also multiple venues at NCSA (Vintage Theatre, Performance Place, etc) Wake, WSSU, etc...the Little Theatre, the Children's Theatre...

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You didn't just say that?!? Let's see, there's the Winston-Salem Symphony, The Nutcracker Ballet (NCSA/W-S Symphony every Christmas for a week or so), National Black Repertory, Riverrun Film Festival, multiple concerts, plays, dance performances by NCSA students, Films on Fourth, Piedmont Opera Theatre, Shakespeare Festival, concerts by people like Alison Krauss, various choruses, performance artists like DJ Spooky, spoken word like Prairie Home Companion and Ira Glass, etc. Additionally, there's RJ Reynolds Auditorium which plays host to Handel's Messiah, Maya Angelou's benefit for Brenner Children's Hosp, traveling quartets & symphonies, etc. There are also multiple venues at NCSA (Vintage Theatre, Performance Place, etc) Wake, WSSU, etc...the Little Theatre, the Children's Theatre...

The words didn't come out exactly right but what I meant is that I didn't know that people really supported the arts around here, but I'm really proud of Winston! :thumbsup:

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Some good ideas floating around on this post. The colonnaded facade of the Millennium center evokes something grand behind it and being located on 5th between Liberty and Trade puts it in a prime position. Question is whether it is large enough to display anything significant. It is currently being used as an events venue (concerts, proms etc) so it's a question whether the revenues from the center as a venue is more than what a museum/gallery will bring.

It would appear that an art gallery would be a good start and should done in collaboration with the existing galleries/museums to leverage existing collections and expertise. As I stated before, it should be located in a revitalized building; we do not need to spend millions on a Frank Gehry designed museum. The Sawtooth Center building may be a good place to start as the center will vacate soon when they relocate to the Arts District.

If I could dream a bit on where to place a museum, I would like it to be situated between 3rd and 4th & between Liberty and Cherry opposite the proposed civic park. It could have entrances on 4th as well to draw in the foot traffic. The Pepper building may have to go as well as most of the south side of 4th. If we expand our horizon a bit, it could incorporate the empty Courthouse on Liberty St as an exhibition area.

Just a thought.

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Some good ideas floating around on this post. The colonnaded facade of the Millennium center evokes something grand behind it and being located on 5th between Liberty and Trade puts it in a prime position. Question is whether it is large enough to display anything significant. It is currently being used as an events venue (concerts, proms etc) so it's a question whether the revenues from the center as a venue is more than what a museum/gallery will bring.

It would appear that an art gallery would be a good start and should done in collaboration with the existing galleries/museums to leverage existing collections and expertise. As I stated before, it should be located in a revitalized building; we do not need to spend millions on a Frank Gehry designed museum. The Sawtooth Center building may be a good place to start as the center will vacate soon when they relocate to the Arts District.

If I could dream a bit on where to place a museum, I would like it to be situated between 3rd and 4th & between Liberty and Cherry opposite the proposed civic park. It could have entrances on 4th as well to draw in the foot traffic. The Pepper building may have to go as well as most of the south side of 4th. If we expand our horizon a bit, it could incorporate the empty Courthouse on Liberty St as an exhibition area.

Just a thought.

I think the Sawtooth Center would be really nice condos with alot of charm and chracteristics or a grocery store. Our best hope for anything of an artsy type museum would be on Trade St. Hey I got an idea! How about we get RJR to sponsor a smoking and tobacco museum, that would really get some attention! :lol:

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