More power to all the DIY music venues and those that work to provide spaces for artists and their audiences. (“Rock ‘n’ Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution,” Feb. 9). I hope the current generation is able to beat the police at the game of venue whack-a-mole. Vibrant cultural scenes cannot happen without spaces for artists and musicians to gather. This is a fact that history has proven many times over — just look up CBGBs, The Cedar Tavern, and Max’s Kansas City in NYC.
But space is a problem that Eugene’s art scenes continue to face. Yes, square footage is expensive. But what is the cultural cost of empty real estate? At a certain point city leaders and business owners who want to reap the economic benefits of a healthy music and arts culture have to accept that keeping empty spaces to yourselves instead of finding ways to make them even temporarily affordable and accessible to the myriad art orgs and performance projects only works against the very thing we all want: a vibrant, creative city where new ideas flourish.
So go ahead and keep hoarding your darkened storefronts. Keep them unaffordable and the sidewalk lifeless. High five yourselves for your fancy hotel “art bars.” Or find a way to value the long-term benefits of sharing, donating or subsidizing your empty real estate in exchange for the health of the art and music workers Eugene likes to brag about.
Founder and director
Eugene Contemporary Art