Feb 25 2013

Seeking Community Ideas for the Use of 801 Magnolia East Wing!

Piedmont Center for the Arts (PCFA) is asking for community ideas for the use of our East Wing Space.  Post your comments and ideas for this rare public space at the end of this article and on the PCFA website!

A Message from the Piedmont Center for the Arts (PCFA):  The City Staff of Piedmont has proposed to use the East Wing of the Piedmont ArtsCenter building at 801 Magnolia as an all-day child-care facility.  This would involve the City remodeling the space as a single-purpose child-care space.  We, the Board of the Center, do not think this proposed usage will be compatible with our current, vibrant arts usage of the other half of the building.  We also believe that the largest body of Piedmonters currently being under-served are our adults.

We would like to take over this East Wing space and use it for even more adult arts programs/usages with no subsidy from the City.  We have demonstrated, in a mere 17 months, that we can produce high quality, low-cost arts programming which has been greatly enjoyed by the Piedmont adult community.

The City Council has asked us, The Piedmont Center, to collect ideas from the community for usage of our East Wing.  We would like to invite you all to please email  your ideas, in whatever form or detail you like, to info@piedmontcenterforthearts.org.  The City Council has suggested they will have a public hearing on what to do with the East Wing as early as their meeting on March 18th.  We would present all of the ideas and welcome any of you to personally attend the City Council meeting as well.  We will collect ALL ideas and post them as they arrive, on this website so we have a collective list of our community Wish List for the East Wing.

 LINK to Piedmont Center for the Arts Website

2 Responses to “Seeking Community Ideas for the Use of 801 Magnolia East Wing!”

  1. While I applaud the efforts of the Center, I believe it was inappropriate for the City Council to give the Center a ten-year, rent-free lease (something it said it could not do, on principle, for the Swim Club). It’s also inappropriate for the City to now place this private group in the privileged position of gathering public input on the use of the East Wing. Those with ideas other than an Arts Center expansion would be best advised to take their input directly to their elected representatives. Giving one private group a monopoly on identifying and vetting “public opinion” is part of what got the Council in so much trouble with the Blair Park sports complex.

  2. Tim is correct. Council did not direct that PCFA to be the sole conduit of ideas for 801. From the minutes:

    (ii) the PCFA to submit a list of potential uses for the site, including revenue projections that could be compared with the Recreation Department’s preliminary proposal;

    I think arts and music organizations would do well to coordinate their proposal with PCFA. But other ideas such as reading room, senior center or day care should independently propose ideas to council. Staff indicated an intent to use the space as day care but not as a full-day service such as School Mates. Many ideas for this space were discussed during the Civic Center Master Plan meetings.

    The “RFP” for 801 should be more widely advertised. Staff is waiting to set a date to post notice but that will likely be within 30 dates of the hearing. Interested residents should contact Mark Delventhal at mdelventhal@ci.piedmont.ca.us to tour the space and obtain more information.

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