Forces/Drivers: Growing Arts District
Dear Diary, October 5, 2015
I am so frustrated with the path that the city of Utica has surrendered to. A few years back, the economy and the city was booming and the arts were truly flourishing, and now it is the complete opposite. The city has been overcome by its weaknesses and threats, and there is a continuous loss of jobs and economic downturn.
My biggest disappointment in the Utica is the loss of, what use to be, its “growing arts district”. We have lost many of the city’s venues that promoted music and arts due to lack of revenue floating around. The Munson William’s Proctor Institute for the arts has closed down, which means no more art classes for kids and adults, no more music concerts, and no more historic art museum. The F.X. Matt Brewery has stopped their weekly “Saranac Thursdays” because people could not afford to come out and listen to music. This was another huge loss for the city because “Saranac Thursdays” used to be a way to get older and younger people out of the house to listen to local and professional musicians perform while socializing. Perhaps the biggest loss for the arts is the “Music and Arts” Festival which highlighted all local musicians and artists. This was a 4 day event that took place all around the city, promoting the arts.
As a music teacher in the area, it is terribly sad to see that students have no way of expressing themselves, or showing off their talents outside of school. I have noticed that the quality of my band program has diminished over the years because students are not able to purchase, repair, or take private lessons on their instruments to enhance their talents. More and more I am seeing that my students know that music is not as important to society because what are they going to do with music after school?
It worries me that with businesses closing, younger people moving out of the city, and the city possibly on the verge of bankruptcy that crime will soar. We have already lost the arts in the area, how much more can we bear to lose?
See you tomorrow.