Lee’s Summit Arts Council appoints ad-hoc committee for outdoor peformance space

rpulley@lsjournal.comDecember 13, 2013 

The Lee’s Summit Arts Council this week set its course for making a recommendation on a downtown outdoor performance space and the fate of Arnold Hall.

After the city was unable to buy the intended site on Market Street for a performance/festival space, the City Council changed the location to city-owned property across from City Hall at 123 Third Street. There sits a vacant manufacturing building, which has also been a restaurant, City Council chambers, a senior center and other uses.

The council also asked the Arts Council for make a recommendation on how to handle the project.

At its regular meeting Dec. 10, the Arts Council had a lengthy discussion of steps needed to make a recommendation. Arts Council Chair Syrtiller Kabat asked co-chair Gary Fruits to lead an ad-hoc committee to work on the recommendation and for other volunteers.

Other committee members are: Paula Belser, Beth Lindquist, Mike Ekey, Ben Martin, Hollie Couch, Mark Dunton and Brad Cox.

Fruits said the group represented a wide range of interests, talents and business acumen, from theater to visual arts, and commercial real estate and construction to make recommendations and suggestions to the council.

He said the committee’s tentative plan is to meet Dec. 30 and tour the site and Arnold Hall. It also will be reviewing previous studies and reports on the issue, with the intent of making a recommendation to the council in January.

“We see this as an important assignment to put together our thoughts, suggestions and recommendation,” Fruits said.

The group also is to meet with architects from Hollis + Miller to review ideas developed to date when the outdoor performance space was intended to be on Market Street.

Councilmember Rob Binney, the City Council’s liaison, said he reminded the arts group that the project before them is primarily about an outdoor performance space. He said he’ll step back and let them do their work, regardless of his opinions, then he’ll take their idea to the council.

“I’m looking forward to what they have to say,” Binney said.

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