Hosted by the CRDA, the forum at the newly opened performing arts theater featured guest speakers from Stockton College, the Noyes Museum of Art, CRDA interim director Susan Ney-Thompson and sparked an informative dialogue between the region’s artists and the state agency in charge of creating a planned arts district in Atlantic City.
ATLANTIC CITY — Flanked by several paintings by local artists, Richard Stockton College president Herman Saatkamp warmed up a crowd of over 100 regional artists of various disciplines, intellectuals and public figures on Tuesday night, June 28, at Dante Hall for a presentation by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA). The evening marked the next step in creating an arts and cultural district in Atlantic City.
“We want to make Dante Hall the pearl of Atlantic City,” he said, explaining that the facility located in historic Ducktown neighborhood of Atlantic City — which has been around since 1924 — is primed to embody the ethos of an arts district proposed for Atlantic City.
The vision according to the CRDA is a bustling creative community within ambulatory distance from The Walk outlets, making it easily accessible to tourists. The area would be used as living space for resident artists, arts-related retail, trendy restaurants, and perhaps, open-air entertainment.
At the event, CRDA officials presented the results of a “pre-feasibility” study that was conducted last year with Art Space Inc —an organization that seeks to create and foster living spaces for artists — to show whether or not Atlantic City has the chops to sustain an environment where artists could thrive. The results, according to Jordan Cox, the project’s manager for the CRDA, were overwhelmingly positive and have led the organization to launch a follow up study for the art district’s live/work housing project, an initiative that seeks to encourage artists to live and produce art in the city.
The CRDA’s board has recently allocated $81,000 to fund the study and will also supply additional funding depending to what contributions are made by the National Endowment for the Arts.
According to the CRDA, the new parking garage project —currently under construction— will serve as the main hub of the district, with 100 units of housing with ground floor retail. The district will run along Mississippi Avenue —where Dante Hall is located— and will be anchored by Historic Boardwalk Hall.
The movement to create such a district is part a larger effort on the part of the CRDA and other institutional entities to rejuvenate the Atlantic City.
Artists are great “placemakers,” said Jeremy Sunkett, the director of project management for the CRDA. Artists are experts at pioneering underdeveloped areas and “repurposing” them, he added. In other words, the effort is basically arts-driven economic growth.
“What we know is that this works when it’s done right,” Sunkett tells Atlantic City Weekly. “But we don’t want this to be an arts district in name only. We want it to be a functioning, authentic place.
“This is not a unilateral effort on our part,” he adds, adding that in order to create an authentic arts district in Atlantic City, artists need to be living in the city.
While arts-driven economic development is not a new concept — and hasn’t always worked in some areas—Sunkett argues that the city has a huge advantage in that 30 million people visit per year.
"The CRDA and ACA are creating a powerful synergy with the arts that is attracting more visitors and increased interest in Atlantic City from the arts community."
The first production by Dante Hall’s in-house production group, Ninth Circle Players, 'Italian American Reconciliation,' is a comic folktale that explores the dynamics of male and female relationships.
“We really [see the skatepark] as an opportunity [to complement] all of the other non-gaming kinds of activities that we want to support,” says Palmieri. “And we own a few parcels and this one we thought would be a potentially very good location.”
This is a message that the American artist, Seth Camm, has taken to heart, but for him he’s found his start at the easel. This wasn’t an easy journey for Camm; it took him a nervous breakdown to achieve the compassion he now has for the plight of the homeless.
Plus Ruth Wyand at Dante Hall, the Album of the Week and Drew Toonz.
A special presentation from ArtC — an organization dedicated to promoting the arts in southern New Jersey — in partnership with the Noyes Museum of Art and Stockton College, Photo SJ 2012 will showcase two of the world’s most accomplished and respected professional photographers: John Russo and Seth Resnick.
Stockton President Herman J. Saatkamp: “For our students enrolled in programs involving the arts, the facility provides an opportunity to explore ideas and concepts in the visual arts in a manner we previously could not."
"I think that the casino [environment] is an art unto itself, with the lights and the movement, the energy. I think that affects my art, [similar to] the way cities influenced jazz. I think that compression — the mesh of people — that sort of thing brings out art within you."
ATLANTIC CITY — John Palmieri, the new head of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, comes to Atlantic City like no other executive director of the authority ever has. Palmieri, who was head of the Boston Redevelopment Authority from 2007 up until earlier this year, and has headed redevelopment and economic development in other cities such as Charlotte, North Carolina; Providence, Rhode Island; and Hartford, Connecticut, certainly has the qualifications and background for the job. But so have other CRDA directors. What’s different is the CRDA he’ll be heading. Never in the authority’s history has the role of the CRDA been so large. An agency created to build housing in Atlantic City and...
Washington, DC tells us the recession is over, when many of us seem to be living through a depression. We hear from politicians at all levels what they are doing for us, when many of us seem to think they are the problem. Americans want to go home again. We remember and long for a simpler time and better place… the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Further, as Atlantic City Weekly has learned earlier this week that two key associates at the CRDA who were spearheading an Arts District campaign for Mississippi Avenue in the Ducktown neighborhood of the resort, are both no longer with the CRDA,
Renovated housing attracts better tenants, which attracts more renovations in the neighborhood. By fixing what we have already, we can immediately put local people to work without the politics of the unions and commercial construction or out of town development interests.
The bills create a CRDA run tourism district encompassing the city's casinos.
The CRDA last month authorized $70,000 for an initial study to create a “neighborhood strategy area” — designed to outline a plan to transform Atlantic City neighborhoods into an arts district and others into medical and education districts. The CRDA could begin land acquisition in the area as early as February....
"The ideal situation for any city is to create a place were people want to live, work, learn, and enjoy their surroundings. That in return will make the Atlantic City arts and education District a must see destination for visitors and tourists."
One may wonder at the neighbor who spends all night working out of a 16-foot box truck. But that’s exactly what local sculptor and mixed-media artist Lennox Warner has had to do at times, in order to complete his work. ...
Tuesday, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) begins a process of finding out what artists think of the district and what they’d like to see included in plans through an official survey the state funding authority hopes will reach 3,000 area and regional artists.
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