Downtown: Arts, Asthetics, Culture, & Education

Tuesday, September 21, 2004, at 08:05PM

By Eric Richardson

I went to my second neighborhood council type meeting tonight, this time the Arts, Asthetics, Culture, & Education Committee. I'm not a member of the committee, but I figured that if I'm going to be Area Wide Resident Artist I might as well see what I can do for the arts. A lot of it was what you'd expect of any meeting: motions, procedures, etc. There's always going to be a lot of beaurocratic nonsense associated with any sort of meeting of this size and scope. Neighborhood Council meetings have to follow Robert's Rules, which pretty much assures having to grind through a lot of procedure. At the same time, though, you can quickly see why you have to follow some concrete set of rules. Without it things would just degrade into a mess.

So what was talked about? Arts stuff. A big part of what the AACE is concerned with right now is the business aspect of downtown arts. As the downtown housing boom is occuring there is inevitably upward pressure on commercial rents. Artists aren't really in a position to survive spiralling costs. What groups like AACE can do is work with artists to educate them about the business side of things like negotiating leases, while at the same time working with property owners to identify those interested in bringing arts into the neighborhood and connecting them with tenants.

Next step for me is to start taking advantage of events like the downtown art walk to get out and meet gallery owners and start seeing what's around here.