The Process of Turning Potential into Reality

by Doug E. L. Haynes

Last Month a developer in Madison who was being interviewed about the redevelopment of an industrial building remarked that it would be nice to incorporate the arts into the planned redevelopment. The comment was printed in the local newspaper.
I am not in a position to gauge the seriousness of the developer who made the remark, however the resulting buzz in the arts community was enormous. There was an outpouring of emails on the Madison Artist’s Alliance email group. Some emails expressed curiosity about the space. Other writers put forward proposals for various diverse arts groups to form coalitions to make a bid for the use of such a space. Others expressed skepticism and concerns about obstacles.
It could be an instance of lots of talk and not much action, but it is clear that there is a real hunger among working artists for something like this.
The content of one email in particular may be of use for artists considering such a project. Anne Katz shared information about an upcoming conference. It is a convention in the Washington D.C. area which will provide information on how to start and operate visual arts centers. It will be held in May.
For more information on the “Unconventional convention” See their website:

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