Speak Up! - 07/24/06

Letters to the Editor

Cultural center has yet to be addressed

Kingman needs a cultural and convention center. One of the first editorials from the current editor asked if a performing arts culture existed in Kingman, and although he was lambasted by many, the question remains unanswered. The new mayor and members of the new Council have voiced support for community improvement - why not consider the addition of such a facility?

The process to fruition would include identifying a facilitating person, settling on a design, identifying a prospective revenue stream or need, solicitation and dedication of a site, soliciting financial backing and developing a plan of operation. All of these are fully within the capability of the local populace. Probably the greatest obstacle to moving on this is the local apathy to Kingman civic development, however, with the right people, such a project can materialize.

Organizations of sufficient size are developing that will use such a facility. This center would encourage the development of community and professional support leading to people visiting the area for meetings, conventions, and performing arts presentations, all of which would lead to tax revenue for the city.

Sites can be made available near the downtown area to solve the twin problems of "renewal" and increasing the traffic flow for merchants. As an example of the possibilities, some cities have seized on this opportunity for renewal by razing existing older structures and combining these areas with open land, coupled with utilizing closed street areas to free up the necessary land. The underwriting of such a project will require significant financial support. We have local residents who, through development of the local area taking advantage of all the area has to offer, have accumulated considerable wealth and are in pursuit of the unnecessary income beyond significant wealth. They should be encouraged to contribute in exchange for memorializing their names for posterity.

Other sources of funds are grants for such renewal efforts from government and philanthropic organizations. On a similar scale, the business community and citizens at large could be solicited for support in exchange for "donor wall" recognition.

It is important to have local advocate groups, the most effective of which can be an editor of the local newspaper. One of the chief impediments in the past to Kingman civic development projects has been the tendency to be too circumscribed in planning-phase efforts. With the new council and new mayor, this warrants receiving some attention. It would be entirely appropriate for the Miner to be a champion of such an effort to bring to the table the cosmopolitan view from regional sources.

David H. Dahlem