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It's not just about art, but the future of our downtown...
by Bobbie McCreary


September 06, 2004

Am I an artist? . . . performing, visual or otherwise? Not me! But last Fall, several of us got together and made the boarded windows of the Diamonds International building come alive with the efforts of people from our community who joined together to paint a fun mural on the boarded windows. Together we created art art that was appreciated by those who drove by and got a smile on their faces instead of feeling depressed by the gloomy look of our closed up downtown in the winter. (By the way, mark October 12th 10AM - 3PM on your calendar, and join us on the corner of Front and Mill to paint a new mural for this winter's enjoyment the theme is flora and fauna.)

I wasn't fortunate enough to live in Ketchikan when the downtown was vibrant and busy with retail stores and people shopping there all year around. Now there is hardly a reason to come downtown and THAT NEEDS TO CHANGE! The heart of our community should be in our downtown. I believe our downtown area deserves the same opportunity to be redeveloped as would any city downtown area across our country. Our city center should be where we come together for social, business, political and arts events and meetings. Some of it is there now the Ted Ferry Center and the Pioneer Hall host meetings; the library supports smaller venues for lectures and children's events; there are a couple of coffee shops and a few restaurants that struggle through the winter. And now we have the opportunity to make our downtown so much more, with the development of a new Arts Center and other business occupancies that will grow around it.

To those of you holding the future of a downtown Arts Center in your hands, P L E A S E look to the future of our community and support a project that will make us all proud, to say nothing of the influx of people and dollars it will bring to Ketchikan (. . . dollars that will STAY in Ketchikan.)

The nuances of the financial issues associated with the land trade are complicated, so I choose not to comment on this issue. I can however reflect that as far as I can see nothing has come of the Ward Cove property since the mill closed and we apparently mismanaged the entire bail-out funds that were intended to help our community rebuild.

So let's step forward to take some positive action now by making the Arts Center happen and then go from there to reinvent the City Center of Ketchikan. It's the right time to do this.

Bobbie McCreary
Ketchikan, AK - USA


Related news:

Listen to this KRBD story... When the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly meets Tuesday, it will consider canceling all agreements pertaining to a land swap that would benefit the proposed Ketchikan Center for the Arts. As Deanna Garrison reports, the Assembly will also consider granting eight acres of Borough land in Ward Cove to the Ketchikan Regional Cold Storage Association.
KRBD - Ketchikan Public Radio



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