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Capitol Broadcasting Withdraws Support of Art Project


carynative

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The people I was with mentioned that Raleigh was more ghetto than they thought and also said Raleigh obviously had ignored their downtown for years. Thats the impression people get.
Ghetto? I don't see it really. Depending on where you walk, there are lousy spots and nice spots.

Ignored DT? Yeah, I think that's a fair assessment, and anyone in city govt will probably admit it. It's also true of many other cities around the country who are also dealing with the same thing.

Vagrants? There are some but I have to agree with reed and ncwebguy.... maybe a downtown environment isn't the right place for a person too bothered by the ocassional bum asking for change. The problem is not necessarily bums, but the number of patrons of bars and resaraunts--which is for now, too few. I live near GlenSo, and I have gotten asked for changed many times, but you don't hear people complain about vagrants much there, and that's because of the sheer numbers of pedestrians. It will take a few years to get F St to that point IMO.

What do you think that Joe-nonUP-guy will do when offered a choice between going to a restaurant on Fayetteville St or a comparable one at North Hills?

Based on numbers at this point, he'd go to N Hills, but the average person who will go to NH is not the same person who'd go to F St, except maybe to the PE Center for a show. I still think there is a huge market out there waiting to be tapped by people who want a real urban environment and F St is one of the only places in the Triangle that has that potential.

Plensa is a loss, particularly for PR, but it won't kill DT momentum. Honestly, I agree with Geary's Indy column--a transit line is infinitely more important than a plaza. Hell, I'd rather see a transit line than a new Convention Center.

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I didn't think I had anything else to add to this, (I RARELY go downtown) but the vagrants were OUT OF CONTROL at the last "First Night Raleigh". I actually went and told the organizers they needed to do a better job next year of getting a handle on that. I actually felt unsafe. I was asked for money from the time I stepped out of my car until the moment I left.

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Yeah, DT Raleigh does have a vagrant problem. My wife mentions it every time we're in Moore Square in particular. I don't like to admit to it, but it is a REAL problem. Personally, I've lived in enough urban areas that I'm sort of not bothered by it. Others, particularly women, may disagree. It can get a bit uncomfortable at times.

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There's some really bad parts of DT in terms of poverty. Most people, a lot of people, don't see it, but every year on Thanksgiving I deliver food to the less fortunate via volunteering with the Raleigh Rescue Mission and I've seen it first hand. I've been in the homes of people and it was just... awful. I've seen how they have to live first hand.

Anyway, the best way to deal with vagrants is to give them some place where they can live and get back on their feet. Easier said than done, I know, but that's the ultimate solution.

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I think the "vagrant problem" is a self fulfilling prophecy. We're told that urban = dangerous and people go downtown with the expectation of there being a problem. Thus, they take particular notice of every suspicious character they see and reinforce the existing stereotype.

My wife walks to/from work every day, to lunch most afternoons, and would laugh if told that someone was apprehensive about so called vagrants being a problem downtown.

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I live downtown near Moore Square and I can count on one hand the number of times I've *really* been harassed for money - as they follow you telling yo stories or jokes or something. Just laugh it off and tell them you don't have any, eventually they'll go away. I personally have been approached more in Chapel Hill on Franklin Street than I ever have in downtown Raleigh.

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Ugh, please NOT another Red Wolf Ramble type of thing. It was fine once, but it's just so safe. Yawn.

I'm so disappointed about Plensa's piece not being created, but I don't think this controversy arose solely because Raleigh is "small minded." Controversy often surrounds public art. Think of Richard Serra's Tilted Arc being removed once it was installed (was it early 90s, late 80s?) in NYC.

I agree. I think every small town in America has done a "paint a pig, wolf or turtle" art project for their town. You go around the US and see a "painted pig" and you just say...."yea, we did that years ago."

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I live downtown near Moore Square and I can count on one hand the number of times I've *really* been harassed for money - as they follow you telling yo stories or jokes or something. Just laugh it off and tell them you don't have any, eventually they'll go away. I personally have been approached more in Chapel Hill on Franklin Street than I ever have in downtown Raleigh.

True. I've been harrassed more agressively in CH than in Raleigh. It doesn't bother me too much personally. Actually one guy in Raleigh didn't recognize me on different occasions. He would have a new story each time he approached me for change. I remembered him, but he didn't remember me.

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The reason people think there is a vagrant problem in DT Raleigh is because there is still very little pedestrian traffic there. In other cities with more vagrants you don't notice them or really pay attention to them because there are many more pedestrians. Its just small town Raleigh slowly growing into a larger city.

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The one good outcome here is that Jim Goodmon called Charles Meeker out as the triangulating, finger-in-the-wind, non-leader he is.

"I'm done with the patron business," Goodmon said Tuesday. "The council lost its vision. I expected the mayor to at least fight about it. He ran with the herd."
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The reason why Raleigh has no "art identity" is because the "experts" that tell you that following Chicago's is a good idea for one project (Crown Fountain @ Millennium Park) are the same ones that will tell you it is a bad idea (cows on parade as the basis of the Red Wolf Ramble).

The NCMA isn't in West Raleigh to show outdoor pieces -- they could easily be displayed on the wide sidewalks of Fayetville Street and various plazas and squares scattered around downtown. It isn't there because they were concerned with future expansion -- the Morgan Street location has a parking lot next door, and DOT to the north could easily be consolidated on their east Raleigh campus.

The NCMA is where it is because they want to play it "safe." Period. They try to cover their tracks by throwing the controversial items downtown and put up no fight whatsoever. They just turn up their noses and drive back on the Wade Ave dullsville express. Amplitheater? The city and convention center staff have shown that music and movies can be displayed downtown just as well as they can off Blue Ridge Road. When people leave a downtown performance, they can walk to bars and restaurants. When they leave the NCMA, they get in their cars and go wherever, probably home. How is that a better experience?

Because they don't get harassed for spare change? BS.

The only time someone asked me for money at the last three first nights was when I was buying funnel cake or a drink. I walked the people's parade route from the Capitol to Raleigh Memorial, and walked Wilmington back without any problems.

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The NC Museum of Art is in West Raleigh because

a) When they moved, downtown wasn't exactly the happening place that it is now

b) In the early 80's when they moved thats where people were moving, the suburbs.

c) The state does have a budget: moving it now after investing a lot of money in the current location doesn't look that good.

d) Raleigh's downtown vibe isn't really that high on the state of NC's priority list. The state is happy whether we are a thriving metropolis or a sleepy college town. (seriously how many people think "wow Albany, New York isn't that big, doing business in the state of New York must stink")

e) For the vast majority of North Carolinians (the 7 million+ that don't live in Wake County), they don't really care if the museum is in Downtown Raleigh, West Raleigh or even Cary: Yeah having all the museums together would be nice, but if you're coming form Boone and want to see everything, the extra few miles really isn't that big of a deal.

While being safe could be a small part of it, the bottom line is finances and spending tax payer money. I think you're really giving the State of North Carolina and the NCMA way too much credit.

Also in the museum's defense, they have been in their current location for quite some time. I honestly think that they really might have come up with some long term goals for the 160+ acres they are sitting on (Some might argue that the environement is just as much art as the focal piece. ) Just because downtown Raleigh is getting its act together 20+ years after the museum moved, should put no pressure on them to jump back downtown. I'd love to see the NCMA downtown too, but I think the best we can hope for is a satellite. (Or for Raleigh to go it alone and seriously invest in a Raleigh Museum of Art)

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I think there is enough room in Raleigh for the NCMA campus and for the city to go it alone, or perhaps an art museum dedicated to NC artists. We certainly have the talent for that. We're also tentatively getting a contemporary art museum in downtown, so the art is coming. Personally, I really enjoy the current campus and am looking forward to the addition.

By the way, DOT could not easily consolidate on its east Raleigh site. That place is way too overcrowded with no room to expand. The downtown buildings (yes there are more than one) are also near capacity.

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a) When they moved, downtown wasn't exactly the happening place that it is now

b) In the early 80's when they moved thats where people were moving, the suburbs.

c) The state does have a budget: moving it now after investing a lot of money in the current location doesn't look that good.

d) Raleigh's downtown vibe isn't really that high on the state of NC's priority list.

Romec's got it. You must remember, it's been over 20 years since the move. DT was well into full decay mode at that time with no signs of revitalization in sight. The state of NC was and still is looking at the best use of it's money first and foremost (see Green Square project for another example of this). That lead to the current Blue Ridge location.

Remember that we still have some good facilities (Science, History Museums, PE Center) and hopefully a new Contemporary Art Museum in the near future.

What do you all think of Geary's column on Plensa?

Goodman ends-a Plensa

The long-running story of Spanish artist Jaume Plensa's proposed Fayetteville Street plaza ended not with a splash of water and light Tuesday but with a fizzle when patron Jim Goodmon, CEO of Capitol Broadcasting, said his $2.5 million pledge was no longer on the table. No hard feelings, Goodmon added, but Raleigh can look elsewhere for the money to pay for a "major" downtown art installation.

The lesson of which is what? Well, Raleigh has an established process for selecting public art, including the places for it and who should design it. Goodmon and N.C. Museum of Art chief Larry Wheeler ignored it when they brought Plensa to town. They could've saved themselves a lot of trouble--and probably produced a great piece of art for Raleigh on Fayetteville Street or somewhere else (Dix?)--if they'd followed it.

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a) Downtown Raleigh is more happening now than in the early 80s? Five years removed from the creation of the Fayetville Street Mall and Convention Center, with Hudson Belk still open, etc.? Was it less happening than land near the interstate next to a youth correction center and some cow pastures?

b) If people moving to the suburbs was a reason for the move, then why West Raleigh and not North Raleigh, where people were moving to. The state owned that land, but had to build every building there from scratch.

c) budget? Budget was not a problem to build the current campus, and a little over 20 years later, they get even more money -- $52.2 million from the North Carolina State Legislature and $15 million in funding from the City of Raleigh and Wake County -- to "create a more appropriate, beautiful and inspiring home for the Museum

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Larry Wheeler appointed himself Raleigh Art Czar and ignored the established process.

Although I can't verify this, I do not think it is correct. Wheeler followed the process he was told by the City to follow. So, it is not fair to say that Wheeler "ignored" the process. The failure to follow the process lies in City management and the Council.

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