(SCENE) Update

Another brief update. If nothing else, AAHD’s maiden exhibition opening under its new Spartan-branded (SCENE) is almost two weeks away, so I figured it’d be worth maintaining some momentum before what I assume will be a sizable PR push begins.

Not too much has occurred since my last post, save an article in City Pulse that was published days after. (It was set to run before I wrote that entry, which I was informed of between the original post and the next day’s update.) I haven’t posted anything since because, frankly, I became rather disgusted with and disheartened by the whole (SCENE) situation for various reasons both on and off the record, and the posts seemed futile at best. But I’ve accepted that, while I don’t want to be seen solely as “the voice of the opposition,” someone needs to provide some healthy public skepticism. If nothing else, I can take take consolation in the fact that shortly after this post the windows were papered over and signs were posted.

scenerenosign(Photo taken 07.25.15 by yours truly. The sign reads, “Closed for renovations. (SCENE) Metrospace will reopen in September 2015 with a new exhibition. Please direct inquiries to scene@msu.edu.” MSU/AAHD info at bottom.)

After all, I’ve been consistent, clear, and public regarding my wishes for (SCENE) to continue to be a thriving space for all of the arts while being conducted and managed transparently. And, hopefully, for it to continue to be a community resource.

From the aforementioned City Pulse article, some noteworthy nuggets:
1. Much needed cosmetic work is being done to the space. That’s good; it needed the work.
– I’m curious: how is AAHD footing that bill? (I imagine it’s a fair amount.) Beyond the cost of printing promotional materials, I wonder if either the submission fees or the admission charges for “special programming” will go towards recouping these expenses?
2. AAHD Chair Chris Corneal seemed to telegraph an overture regarding non-visual arts programming beyond the six to eight annual performances exclusively by MSU students & faculty.
– I’m guessing this is the call for proposals? Note that it mentions proposals being accepted year-round. (The (SCENE) section of the AAHD website now has more info, though this isn’t on the standalone (SCENE) website.)
– Is this the “special programming” discussed before?
– Notably, the call states, “Please note that at this time we cannot host events in the space that have charged admission.” (If so, how does that jive with the other “special programming” described here that was a focus of my last post and update.)
– This call info is new to me and I have many thoughts on it, but I’d like to sit with it some more.
3. “Community engagement” continues to be touted. Interestingly, the (SCENE) site even now includes a “Community” page.
– Still, to me, the way all the “community” discussion reads, “open to the community” doesn’t necessarily include any aspect of being “of the community” or “by the community.”
[4. The blog was quoted in print. A first. Victory! I saved a copy for my scrapbook.]

Separately, (SCENE) remains an occasional talking point at City Council meetings. A small but noticeable element. I’m glad it wasn’t a fluke.

Needless to say, I wonder how this all will shake out. I look forward to the Sept. 18 opening of Place in Proximity, which I hope to attend (depending on child care)…

IMG_2084(Photo taken 09.01.15 by yours truly. Exhibition poster for Place in Proximity. And my son’s reflection strikes again.)

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