State group coming to town

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Team to seek local public input on development of art and cultural plan

By Carol A. Clark

A Creative District Resource Team comprised of representatives from several state agencies will visit Los Alamos April 13-15 to give the community a hand in the development of its new Arts and Cultural District.  

“We would love for people to save the dates for the public reception to meet the resource team and steering committee,” said Executive Director Kevin Holsapple of the Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation and Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce. “The team will be seeking ideas from the community as to what it would like to see included in the district.”

At 5 p.m. April 13, the Creative District Resource Team will gather at the Art Center at Fuller Lodge and will participate in the public out briefing beginning at 11:45 a.m. April 15 in Council Chambers at the Community Building.

Holsapple explained that many organizations are involved in the Steering Committee for this project including the Arts Council, Historical Society, Art Center at Fuller Lodge, Fuller Lodge and Historic District Board, Los Alamos County, Master Gardeners, Bradbury Science Museum and the LACDC and chamber.  

“Audrey Garduno from the chamber is coordinating the effort. Artists, artisans, business people and citizens interested in being part of the focus groups during this visit can contact Audrey at audrey@losalamos.org,” Holsapple said.

Los Alamos MainStreet, in collaboration with the Los Alamos Arts Council and Los Alamos County applied for and received the New Mexico Arts and Culture District status for downtown Los Alamos in 2009.

Los Alamos is one of just five communities in New Mexico approved for that status.

The working name for the district is the Los Alamos Creative District. The basis for the district is sharing of Los Alamos’ unique creative heritage in the arts and science.

Goals for the Los Alamos Creative District include:

• Sharing the unique creative heritage of Los Alamos with residents and visitors;

• The development of the district will serve as a catalyst for supporting and developing service, restaurant, retail and hospitality businesses within the proposed district;

• The district will improve the community’s capacity for economic benefit from visitation and tourism by creating a stronger, more focused argument for visiting and spending time in downtown Los Alamos.

“Although they have not been developed with the concept of the ACD as the driver, there are many established and emerging events and activities within or adjacent to the ACD to build upon,” Holsapple said.

Those events and activities include:

• Museums;

• historic district;

• historic walking tour;

• Art Center at Fuller Lodge;

• art fairs;

• MainStreet events such as Halloweekend, Winterfest, Next Big Idea Festival, Fair and Rodeo Parade;

• Chamberfest;

• Los Alamos Little Theater;

• New Mexico Dance Theater;

• Library gallery and series;

• Fuller Lodge performance and lecture events;

• summer concert series;

• public art; and

• the proposed Manhattan Project National Park unit.

“We are also looking for opportunities to assist the broader range of creative culture programs and activities throughout the community,” Holsapple said. “For example, the Los Alamos Concert Association (LACA) and other groups produce excellent performances at our high school auditorium, which is not located downtown. LACA has a long history of bringing emerging and renowned classical music performers to our state and community. The ACD will look to connect with such groups and activities for mutual benefit.”

The Los Alamos Creative District ACD is a project of Los Alamos MainStreet. LACDC is staffing the start-up of the district and has formed the start-up steering committee.

The charter of the steering committee is to develop, during 2010, a plan for the district and to champion adoption of the plan as a supporting plan to the downtown plan, Holsapple said.  

Once adopted, the continuing work of the steering committee will be to champion implementation of action plans.

To view the full application and related information and materials on the Arts and Culture District, visit  http://laccd.blogspot.com.