thatsmyname (Richard Renner)

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City manager talks one-on-one with residents as part of first 'listening post'

Good for Tom for doing this. In the last round of budget meetings and suggestions by the city manager, the common consensus was that he had not lived here long enough to understand the values of this town. Perhaps this is a start to change that story.

September 24, 2016 at 9:56 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Breakfast by the river now a new North Lawrence option; bike shop to leave East Lawrence for new location

If I start eating there as much as I ride the trail I will have to buy a Fat Bike to match my butt. Nice to see the cycle culture in this town improving.

August 29, 2016 at 1:04 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

A look at the city manager's recommended budget, and the heat he is taking for it

A good example of this is Porter's guidance in creating forums for all parties involved in the 9th Street Arts project. He has effectively facilitated meetings and interest groups that are naturally divergent in what they wanted. His position has been decidedly neutral as he simply helped provide the arena for the lively discussions.

July 19, 2016 at 8:04 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

A look at the city manager's recommended budget, and the heat he is taking for it

That link is for the Arts Commission which is an entirely different thing than the Arts and Culture Director. I serve on the LCAC and Porter is our main liaison between our commission and the city, he also is charged wth putting the Cultural Plan for Lawrence into action. The Cultural Plan was established after the city spent $10k in assessment of our culture and what areas to focus on for improvement. Porter is also responsible for carrying out the AEP survey which Lawrence paid to be a part of. The AEP will help determine the exact economic effect of arts and culture and thus guide the commission in making decisions. Additionally Porter is a city liaison for all those parts of our city that are affected by the arts, make art or want to create artistic opportunities in Lawrence. Much like Downtown Lawrence Inc (a city supported entity) works for downtown Lawrence merchants, the Arts and Cultural Director works for the arts and culture in our city.

July 19, 2016 at 7:59 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kansas set to lose about $800K in arts funding

As a performing artist who relies on the MAAA grant to get work in the other 5 states in the association, this is a blow to my income and my artistic career. I have been able to get the MAAA's touring artist program for over 20 years because of my inclusion in the Kansas Touring Artist program.
The Governor's gross mismanagement of the Kansas Government and it's budget has finally hit me where it hurts. Please don't let these people continue in office.

July 19, 2016 at 7:29 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Commissioners, public criticize staff cuts in Lawrence city manager's budget proposal

I agree that it does mostly go to the state but it is still the best indicator of the arts generating economic dollars.

July 13, 2016 at 7:02 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Commissioners, public criticize staff cuts in Lawrence city manager's budget proposal

Should we withdraw city dollars for the Chamber of Commerce, Convention and Visitors Bureau too? The arts can generate as much of an economy as they do. The $300k comes from the survey and study done by the Ks State Tourism bureau each year for the Busker Festival. You can argue with them if you wish.

The Busker Festival is a Free to attend event. We also do outreach shows at all the Boys and Girls Clubs prior to the festival. A family of 4 can attend and see a dozen shows all day long and not pay a cent if they don't want to. It's not food or shelter but it certainly gives everyone a chance to have fun no matter what their income is.

July 13, 2016 at 6:57 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Capital city begs to differ with Commissioner Matthew Herbert's Topeka bashing; Herbert apologizes

I think we all know that Matt was just trying to conjure up an image of a town without personality, character and art. Topeka has the unfortunate characterization of such a place, whether it is true or not. I imagine it is reaction to this image of Topeka that has created the growth it has seen in the past few years.

July 13, 2016 at 6:52 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Commissioners, public criticize staff cuts in Lawrence city manager's budget proposal

The arts in this town have grown organically to a point but now need a coordinator to bring them into the new economy. On the national and state level the arts agencies are focused on the arts as an economic driver and when Lawrence established an Arts and Culture Director it is doing the same. The arts are a big part of our local economy and identity, it is what makes us different than Topeka or any other town our size. Without them we are only known for basketball and Quantrill.

For example, the Busker Festival generates $300,000 in sales tax for the 3 days it runs, the Free State Festival probably doubles that in the week it is held. They both receive some city funding as an investment in this return. The position of Cultural Arts Director can help shepherd other people to create similar arts related events that will return revenue to the city.
There are other great benefits to an arts director on the city level that bring in outside groups interested in establishing themselves here. This is an important position and it needs to be kept.

July 13, 2016 at 11:10 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

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