Tag Archives: culture

Creativity and Ambiguity

DressAgainstTreesCongratulations to the City of Frisco for supporting the Arts and infrastructure to ensure a great community continues amid all the growth.

For those who opposed the commitment toward a performing arts center because in their words, “There was no plan” I will tell you what I tell my colleagues in the IT business – And it is this:

“You can be included in the creative process to shape a plan or you can have only finished plans presented to you for approval, but you cannot have both”. – belveal

Everything starts with an idea and a sketch.  A sketch is a representation of an idea, but not everything in detail.  A sketch by its nature contains immense ambiguity.  That ambiguity inspires creative minds to fill in the rest with possibilities.

It is often the same people who complain about being left out of the process that,  when you include them, choke on the unanswered questions. Design is about  solving problems and working hard over a period of time to find and develop answers to all those questions.

Anyone who has ever been successful at creating anything fully understands that there is ambiguity in the early stages. If you cannot handle that, you cannot be successful yourself and you will be in the way of others. The creative process is what converts great ideas filled with questions into finished viable plans with every detail worked out. I suppose this explains why some people perceive new innovations as magic. They just really have no idea what creativity is or how to do it.

For those creatives that do get it, thank you for your vision. There is a lot of work to do to do to make this dream a reality.  Let’s build something awesome!

– roger

http://www.friscobonds.com/

Performing Arts Center, momentum

Wow, a lot is happening with the Performing Arts Center initiative since my last post.

The bond election committee has recommended an amount of ten million be offered to the voters to approve or disapprove.   If the voters decide to approve it, then it simply means that the City Council has been authorized to sell bonds when and if they are satisfied that a solid plan for such a project exists.

Such a plan will require private donations in the millions.  From Who?  How about from the private developers currently  investing B B B Billions right now.  Yes Billions with a B.

Ever since the Cowboys announced their intentions to build a new practice facility to the north of the Hall Office Park, a strong band wagon has formed and is continuing to gain momentum.  Luxury hotels, office parks, housing, and restaurants are piling up in the adjacent properties.  And not too far down the road,  Toyota is breaking grown on their new US headquarters.  FedEx will follow soon.

Why is this happening?  What is the big draw?  Simple.  Quality of life.  Frisco has it with a great promise of it getting even better.  Many great sports venues are here already and more are coming.  That growth is great, but it represents a very lop sided quality of life.  Anyone can recognize that Frisco needs to be well-rounded.

Bringing  these kinds of investors on board with a plan to add a cultural arts center to the mix doesn’t seem far fetched at all.  Empowering the Frisco city Council to foster such a partnership makes sense.  But there must be some assurance the city is truly a partner.  Without it, who will invest their dollars?   Ten million in potential bonds to be sold if and when such a plan emerges shows the kind of commitment needed to get such investors to commit their resources to the making of the plan.

Now is the time.  Lets’ do this thing.

Roger

It is time for a World Class Performing Arts Center in Frisco, Texas

Many residents are still embarrassed about the great Frisco fumble at the goal line of the North Texas Arts Center project.  Many more would be if they realized what a massive fumble it was.  After leading a four city effort with millions in donations, including a spectacular piece of property, Frisco voted ‘no’ on its future.
See the  Collin County Arts story.  http://www.wfaa.com/story/news/2014/08/13/13745708/

That was nearly five years ago.  Many things have changed.  Frisco continues to be the second fastest growing city in the country.  Now a new group of citizens is raising the issue again.

In joining the conversation, I have three points I would like to make.

Point One – Timing can be everything
In the early 1990s I lived in Seattle and attended many Mariners ball games in the old King Dome Stadium.

I recall when the Mariners weren’t doing all that well and wanted a new stadium.  The King Dome was functional but not very spectacular; it was plain on the inside and downright ugly on the outside.  In fact, I used to drive past the King Dome every day and contemplate what could be done to make it less ugly.  I imagined all sorts of covering or additions.  Finally, I just decided that there was really no way to fix it other than to tear it down and build something better in its place.  I thought, ‘That will never happen!’

There was a lot of debate about public funding for the new stadium. Eventually, it was put to a statewide vote.  Voters decisively voted it down.

Then a funny thing happened.  The mariners started winning ball games.  Those were the days of Ken Griffey Jr, and Randy Johnson.  As the team won more and more games, public opinion suddenly began to change about the stadium.  In a short while, the pervasive sentiment became overwhelming that they should have a new stadium.  There was massive pressure on the state legislature to approve a plan that would provide some public funding.  Lawmakers found themselves in an odd predicament being pressured to approve a plan that had just been rejected by voters a short time before.  After some debate, they did and everyone was happy.   Call it fickle if you wish, but that is how it happened.

Kingdome replacement https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdome
Safeco Field https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safeco_Field

My point is that timing is everything.  In that case, the public sentiment changed due to the excitement of having a winning ball team with some star players.

In our case, here and now, it is the fact that Frisco is booming.  This is really different from how things were five years ago when the Collin County Arts Commission failed.

Five years ago, the economy was in a holding pattern at best.  Enthusiasm for spending money on anything was weak.  The Tea Party had a point.  Well, that was then.  Today, we have the Cowboys facility and the Six Billion (with a B) dollar mile.

Five billion dollar mile
http://friscoedc.com/5-billion-mile http://cheneygroup.com/6-billion-frisco-developments-shabby/

Development is accelerating all around us. The time is right to ask again about an arts center. This time the answer should be easy.  Really, the question should not be ‘If’, but the details of exactly ‘What, Where, and How’.

Point 2 – Appeal to a broader Audience
The Collin County Arts Commission seemed to be only about traditional performing arts, such as symphony and ballet.  I think that’s where they missed the boat.  Appealing to the wider citizenry means heralding a broader spectrum of genres.  Voters need to feel like there would be performances that they would want to attend.  Symphonies and ballet are fine but what about jazz, blues, and rock?  Many classic rock performers are touring these days, gathering large crowds.  The Verizon Theater in Grand Prairie is one example of a great venue for such events.

Point 3 – Make it something unique, something special
Great performers like to play in unique venues.  A few years ago, I went to see Leon Russell at Gruene Hall near New Braunfels, in the Texas Hill Country.  That old place is really just an old barn that is practically falling down.  But people love it. Artists love it.
Gruene Hall
http://gruenehall.com/

Frisco has a unique mix of old and new.  We have technology companies relocating here and Frisco will soon be the home of a video game history museum.  The impact of technology on our culture is huge.  Frisco also has a very rich history.  Integrating visual art that portrays such a mixture of local history with contemporary tech culture imagery is just one of the ways that this venue might be unique.

My point is that there are other cities with performing arts venues. Let’s make ours special.

Thank you

Roger