Monday, February 9, 2009

E-Mail from Blog Reader:

Hi Wes
Started reading your blog a few days ago. I am very seriously thinking of moving to Lake Worth with my husband also an artist. I've been researching your area for ever it seems and became aware of the Artist overlay district. Only never saw a notice or announcement regarding this.

This is back when i ran a not for profit art org. Many of our artists at that time were looking to move out of Coconut Grove .

My Husband and I looked at Bradenton which had the original Fl. Art colony but it was to far
from friends and was a bit crafty. We ended up in Vero Beach and that lasted only until Hurricane Wilma destroyed our studio and everything else. Well that was then we have never recovered. We came back to a tiny rental cottage in the Grove and work here .
Your blog is what I am reading to see what is being done and how are the city fathers handling housing for artists at this juncture. Is your community artist friendly? Mars and Venus are cute.

My response:

Nice for you to write and your contact is very timely. I happen to be on the Community Redevelopment Agency board and we have recently engaged "Hands On Consulting" to put together a program that would target the artistic community that is already here and work to attract artists so that they relocate to Lake Worth - making this an artist destination, creating housing and studio space as part of what could be a 30 block redevelopment effort. This would potentially be on a national or worldwide scale. The contract was just entered into last month (see attached). This group has had great success in Paducah, KY - you can get an idea of what they have accomplished by clicking here.

We are setting things up so that we can avail ourselves of various monies that are becoming available addressing the foreclosure crisis and the overall downturn in the economy. The CRA has a joint meeting with the City Commission this coming Tuesday to affirm this approach and gather input from Commissioners in the design of the program. Your input and suggestions would be helpful.

Again, the timing of you finding my blog is perfect - I have come to understand that in this world there are few coincidences. I am sure there is a greater reason beyond our understanding.

Wes Blackman