We look to other cities both for good ideas and cautionary tales. These two links take us Detroit, where the Detroit Symphony strike is full of the latter, and Denver, which has shown a far more robust interesting in funding the arts than most other American cities.
|The planned art center in Parker, Colorado.|
In some ways, Denver is an urbanist's worst nightmare, with its rings of sprawl, emphasis on superhighways and dearth of urban amenities. Its streets certainly aren't made for walking. But its also at least interesting that one way its suburbs are attempting to define themselves, give themselves a distinct sense of place, is through arts centers. Not little ones, either. Both of the ones under construction cost north of $20 million. Undoubtedly, everyone will have to drive to them, but as Denver grows and the traffic there gets worse, the population of south metro will likely find it far easier and satisfying to attend events at these arts centers rather than dare the trip to the downtown cultural center -- better 15 minutes in the car than 45 minutes or an hour.