Foundation explores regional arts issues | SierraSun.com

Foundation explores regional arts issues

Charles Levinson, Sierra Sun

The Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation hosted a Town Hall Meeting for the arts Tuesday at Northstar-at-Tahoe, providing a forum for select members of the community to discuss the issues confronting the arts community in North Lake Tahoe.

Approximately 86 people attended the event which is being viewed as the first step towards establishing and accomplishing coordinated goals within the arts community. To that effect, leaders from various cross-sections of the community were gathered under the same roof Tuesday to discuss the issues.

“The trick is to identify and galvanize leadership to get something done,” facilitator Bill Bulick said.

The meeting was primarily a series of targeted small group discussions. The two principal issues that were put on the table were the need for new facilities, and coordination within the arts community in North Lake Tahoe.

Various interests were represented at the meeting from the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association’s Phil McKenny to the Lake Tahoe Summer Music Festival’s Ernie Grossman. Though organizers hope to create a more unified front within the arts community, there are differences that must be addressed.

In one small group discussion the issue of location for a possible performing arts center provoked disagreement.

Grossman said that realistically Truckee would be the last choice as a location for a performing arts center because there was much stronger support for such a facility elsewhere in the community.

Doug Adams, representing the Truckee-Tahoe Youth Theater, argued that Truckee would be the most logical place for a region-wide performing arts center.

“Looking at the Incline-Tahoe-Truckee triangle, Truckee is at one of the apexes of the triangle,” Adams said. “It’s the most centrally located.”

There appears to be broad consensus among the arts community that coordination to some degree among the various arts interests is important. What form that coordination will take was on the table at Tuesday’s meeting.

Should coordination take the form of merely a group of volunteers comprising a grassroots movement or should there be more structure and planning? Should there be a board and a paid staff? Should there be a regional arts council? Those were among the questions batted around, though it was hard to discern a consensus.

Bulick, who served for 10 years as the director of the Regional Arts and Culture Council in Portland, Ore., and has been widely praised there for turning the organization around, said that the town hall meeting was simply a means of obtaining a broad survey of opinion within the community.

“We’ll try to synthesize [what we heard here today] into some kind of report that reflects the voices of the community,” Bulick said. “[The report] will recommend next steps and sift through strategies.”

He said he expects to have the report within a month.

“It’s important to keep the momentum going,” he said, adding that he felt there was broad support for arts and culture within the Lake Tahoe community.