Change is good
In a former streetcar power substation, more recently a sculptor's studio, there was plenty of energy. It came from a crowd of arts & culture types who mingled with a smaller number of neighborhood residents.
We were all there, at West 29th and Church Avenue, to hear about the big "mystery" announcement that showed up on Facebook and in my email late Thursday.
Close to midnight some details emerged, and Friday's Plain Dealer had the full story.
David Franklin (at podium), director of the Cleveland Museum of Art, talked about the highly collaborative project that will combine a private museum witha branch of the world-renowned CMA. He then introduced Fred and Laura Bidwell (seated at left of photo), the collectors who are putting millions of dollars into what's being called the Transformer Station.
Welcome to the neighborhood
Those are the official details.
Here's my take on it: fantastic! I love the Art Museum and am thrilled to have a little piece of it four blocks away. I excited about the potential for this gallery which will focus on contemporary art, photography, and digital media.
I appreciate a multi-million dollar commitment to my neighborhood by people who could have gone anywhere to start their gallery.
With its free admission policy, I hope both neighbors and tourists visit often and make this arts outpost a must-see spot just like the nearby West Side Market.
[Written Friday, Sept. 16, 2011 —AW]