Monday, May 19, 2008

DCC report: a busy two months

By Brownie Plaster, Board Chair, Destination Cleveland County, Inc.

Traveling, moving, raising money, designing, planning -- that sums up the last two months of Destination Cleveland County’s activities.

Travels continue. Robin Hendrick, John Schweppe III and I attended the League of Historic American Theatres’ conference in Newberry, S.C., April 13-15. We were in conversation and meeting with theatre directors from all over the United States and Canada. We learned so much about the operation of a theatre and good practices that we need to follow. And we were thrilled that some of the recommendations the consultants made were things we are already doing! On another jaunt April 24, some of us visited with Kerry Taylor of the Southern Oral History Program at UNC-CH. He is helping us plan for our next phase of community engagement which will be researching the wonderful stories of our local citizens. Through that contact, we were able to secure an intern from the University of Louisville to work with our history committee over the summer. He arrived this week.

Moving. DCC hired a professional mover to move the objects and artifacts from the former museum to the new location that will be used for storage and continuing inventory work. We are so pleased that all items have been moved safely and are all together in one location and on one floor. This permanent location is going to provide the space for the history committee to finish its documentation work as well as provide for the easy selection of objects for rotating displays at the Scruggs Center.

Raising money. Our Rhythm and Roots campaign continues to do well, in spite of tough economic times. We believe that we are having this continued success because local citizens truly believe in the future economic impact that these two projects will have to our city, county and region. The Rural Center awarded us $400,000 for the Don Gibson Theatre. We are all investing in our county and region.

Designing. Stan Anthony of MBAJ Architecture is in the process of finalizing the plans for the Theatre, and Roger Holland of Holland and Hamrick Architects is beginning his work to determine what needs to be done at the former courthouse to bring it up to code so that it will be serviceable for public usage.

Planning. Cissy Anklam, the museum design team co-coordinator, was here April 30-May 1 and conducted four community meetings around the county. Cissy was gratified to see the number of citizens who came to each of the area meetings with their comments and suggestions of resources to use as we move forward. Cissy and her team members will be back in Cleveland County this next week, May 22-23 for more dialogue and will be here in mid-June to present the final Master Plan document to the public (time and location TBA).

Do we feel that we are part of something incredibly worthwhile? Are we having fun? Yes and yes. Be a part of our effort. Volunteer! DCC office is 704.487.6233. There’s a lot more work to do and a place for all who are interested.

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