We are progressing as an artistic community that values both its newer and older neighborhoods and is investing in both.
There has to be some positive takeaway after the agonizing bond issue ballot planning for this April, right?
And there is.
Our cultural arts plan is the envy of many other surrounding cities. We’ve put together a corridor that stretches from Legacy Park through downtown Lee’s Summit and over to Longview, one that includes performing, visual and many other artistic offerings that a creative community should be exhibiting.
Some don’t “get” the need for cultural arts in a community, although most see some benefit to promoting this.
Encouraging painting, music, theater, sculpting, poetry and other artistic endeavors brings a creative element to Lee’s Summit that will ultimately lead to minimizing the brain drain and encouraging families to come here – or simply stay here.
That our city council put such an emphasis on the arts should be applauded. We cannot lose sight of this in all the other distractions they’ve given us.
And now that the ballot measure is in place for April 2, several community organizers have met and are starting the process of educating voters on what’s included in the no-tax-increase bond and why it would benefit the voter to say yes to the projects.
Lee’s Summit is chock full of parents who have kids in band, theater, forensics, orchestra, vocal, painting and other artistic endeavors.
Every one of these parents should be voting yes on this measure.
The ballot also includes a noble project for Orchard Street near the core of the town, a road that needs rebuilding in a neighborhood that will surely appreciate the facelift.
These projects – commitments from the city to the citizens it serves – will all ultimately be the benefit of each of us.
I realize as the arts swirl around us, we sometimes have a difficult time grasping just what art “does” for Lee’s Summit. We have a sense of it. We know it when we see it. But how do we benefit from it?
Improving Legacy Park’s amphitheatre, building an outdoor performance space downtown and giving a new home to the historical society and a place for artists to work and show work is at the heart of the artistic promise we made many years ago.
Improving our streets also benefits the masses.
So the good news is this: we are still following through on making Lee’s Summit a better place to live, work and visit.
Amidst the political jockeying and games, we cannot lose sight of that.
John Beaudoin is the publisher of the Lee’s Summit Journal. To comment, call 816-282-7001 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.