Saturday, May 5, 2012

Ashland Town Council Approves Arts and Culture District

As reported in the Herald Progress, May 5, 2012:

The Town of Ashland has established an arts and cultural district to provide incentives for new arts organizations.
The district begins just west of the intersection of routes 1 and 54, and it stretches west down Route 54 beyond the train tracks and through the commercial area. It also encompasses the commercial area along the tracks.
Qualifying for-profit and non-profit arts organizations within the district are eligible for four incentives.
They would be exempted from the business, professional and occupational license (BPOL) taxes and fees for their first three years.
Permit fees (except for those that cover required public notice advertising) would also be waived.
The next incentive would offer regulatory flexibility on temporary signage used to advertise arts openings, events and exhibits. Such signs could be displayed for up to 60 days, whereas currently all businesses may only display temporary signage for up to 30 days.
Also, qualifying arts organizations would be allowed to use the Route 54 banner board to advertise art-related events so long as no corporate logos are displayed.
To qualify, at least 50 percent of a business’s income must come from art or arts and cultural activities.

I think this is a great step for Ashland. I think some details will have to be clarified through further council meetings.

One is the very definition of "arts organizations".

  1. How many people does it take to make an "organization"? Does a single music teacher having a piano recital qualify? Are the teacher and students together an "organization"?
  2. What falls under the definition of "arts"? My personal dictionary includes a LOT of things as "arts".
I don't quite understand the corporate logo thing. Corporations, profit or non-profit, can post information on the sign, but they can't display their logos? It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

I'll be posting more on this in upcoming days and weeks.

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