Billy Jones and I were going back and forth in another thread about the existence of a creative culture in downtown GSO. Billy said there is none, I said I see it all the time.
The disconnect is because Billy is talking about the institutions and developers that make up the power structure, and I'm talking about the grassroots creative scene. The latter is real, but it seems pretty disconnected from the former.
Reader anonymous chimes in via the email: "I've found Action Greensboro and DGI to be quite unresponsive, and sometimes downright hostile, to bottom-up initiatives. The establishment guys don't listen well. Actually, they don't listen at all; public process -- that done by DGI, AG, and the city -- that relates to downtown is nearly all kabuki."
This has been my experience, too, as I've said here many times and also said plainly in meetings with AG brass and foundation boards.
Still, it's hard to look at the infrastructure of downtown -- things like the Carolina Theater, the parks and the baseball stadium, Southside, and the safe streets between -- and conclude that the establishment has failed to make downtown a better place, and one more amenable to creative culture.
More overlap between the two spheres would be healthy. It was great to see Community Foundation president Walker Sanders cooking dinner at Elsewhere last month -- he's one guy who lives comfortably in both worlds -- but it would have been even nicer to see a few more grownups in the room.