"In the quest to build a downtown performing arts center,
there were several bits of good news Thursday from the results of a community wide survey.
* People are well aware of the proposal to build a new performing arts center.
* They agree that the aging War Memorial Auditorium needs to be replaced.
* People support the idea of building a new facility downtown.
Do those people support taxpayer indededness to pay for it?
Were they told who would be paying for it?
Those are the results from the online survey,
which were released Thursday morning in a meeting of the advisory committee
of the task force studying the idea of a performing arts center for downtown.
How did who know to take the online survey?
Nearly 900 people took the survey
after receiving notices sent via email from dozens of organizations
like neighborhood associations, the arts community, the Greensboro Neighborhood Congress,
as well as Action Greensboro, Downtown Greensboro Inc. and the Community Foundation.
How many members of the arts community, the Greensboro Neighborhood Congress,
as well as Action Greensboro, Downtown Greensboro Inc. and the Community Foundation
took the survey?
Other survey results: 70 percent of those answering the survey
said they would attend more cultural events if a downtown facility is built.
The majority of those answering the survey
want more choices for arts and entertainment and a more convenient location
-- such as downtown.
What an amazing coincidence?
* 64 percent want to go for a full meal before or after a cultural activity.
* 46 percent want to have a drink at a bar or pub before or after a cultural activity.
That plays right into the idea that a performing arts center
would pump much-needed money into downtown’s restaurants, clubs and bars.
Were any downtown "stakeholders" survey participants?
The task force’s advisory committee
was meeting with AMS Planning & Research of Fairfield, Conn.,
which the task force contracted to do a feasibility study and business plan for an arts center.
At the meeting, AMS officials
were asked what positives and negatives they have found thus far in their 10 weeks of work.
"You kept telling us this is a very fractured community
in trying to align people on a big idea," said Michele Walter, managing director of AMS.
"But we haven’t seen that," she said.
And Steven Wolff, the founder of AMS,
said a strong positive is that "Greensboro is not afraid of its downtown,
but invests in its downtown."
Is that what asking for money sounds like?
How much private money has been raised?
AMS will present its findings to the City Council next Tuesday.
Afterward, the task force will come up with its recommendation to the council in June.
If the task force and the council agree that a performing arts center should be built,
the council may call for a bond referendum in November to help finance the project,
which could carry a $50 million price tag."