Be it resolved that this harsh winter, arts boosters will get their day in the sun. The city of Saline's
Arts and Culture Committee is putting forth the idea of a new arts and cultural center in Saline. The first of two meetings will be held this week in order to gauge public interest.
"The purpose of this cultural "campus" or "mall" would be to offer established and growing arts and cultural organizations a common location with space to meet teaching, storage, rehearsal, performance, and display needs, as well as space to grow and expand," says an invitation letter for the meeting.
The intention is not for Saline's arts and culture committee, the city, or its school system to either drive or fund the center. "It really needs to be a community effort," says Saline City Council Rep. Linda TerHaar, who is also a Saline Arts and Culture Committee member. "We see our role as the catalyst to get the discussion going."
TerHaar says the center, which would be years away from fruition, is not intended to replace any current arts organizations or infrastructure in Saline.
The committee is seeking a range of public input on everything from potential locations to funding sources to uses for such a center, according to TerHaar. One location that's been floated is Houghton School, which is not currently in use. The school is located near Saline's downtown and Mill Pond Park. It's also expected that the center would be funded privately, with options including private donations, grant funding, and charging users rent.
"We've talked about studio space for individual artists. Houghton School has a kitchen, so if we're at Houghton School there could be culinary arts classes and demonstrations. The Saline Area Players could have a performance, just as an example," TerHaar says, adding, "We see the possibilities as pretty unlimited. We've also talked about landscape art, gardening art. Once again, depending on the facility, the Houghton School has a lovely inner courtyard that we could foresee landscape artists just having a wonderful time designing and working in."
The first of two meetings is set for 7 p.m. on Thurs., Jan. 24 at Stone Arch Arts & Events, at 117 S. Ann Arbor St. in Saline. The second will be at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 25, at a location to be announced on the Saline Arts and Cultural Center's Facebook page
. All are welcome.
Source: Saline City Council Rep. Linda TerHaar
Writer: Tanya Muzumdar