NickMeyer

Nick Meyer

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NickMeyer

Best Music Festival

Also, Tuesday Night Blues is not a "Music Festival" in the way all the others in this category are. It's a weekly series. No other weekly series is listed here. So there's obviously no insult to Tuesday Night Blues whatsoever.

NickMeyer

Bike-to-Work Week 2013 Kicks Off @The Local Store

Like any event of this sort, the aim is to create awareness. Awareness that it is in fact an option to bike to work, to school, to the park or wherever in our community (because sometimes we need a reminder). Awareness that we have the trails and resources in our community to get you from point A to point B safely. And awareness that even if an individual doesn't have a particular interest in riding bike themselves, that it's still a very important part of the health and vitality of our community that deserves support and recognition. It helps accomplish these things overall, but for any given individual I'd also point you to Wanita's comment below.

NickMeyer

Tourism

Great discussion! However, it's important to understand throughout this entire project that these are not grades on "departments" of the city or any other specific entities. Some of these categories don't even have civic "departments." And further, these grades are meant to represent the entire valley as much as they can, not just Eau Claire necessarily. These are grades for an overall look at certain areas of our local society, taking into account both public and private endeavors, with input from a broad range of "experts".

@BoneyBilly, your comparison to Parks & Rec makes some sense, but just as this grade isn't a grade on the "Tourism Department", the grade in the parks category is not a grade on the "Parks and Recreation Department" of Eau Claire or any other local township. Yes, the tourism departments of our area DO do a great job with what's available to them. But giving a lower grade in this category is a way to point out that it's not entirely up to the tourism departments to make this area strong.  It's up to the whole community – the people, the businesses, and the public sector. Visit Eau Claire and others can only tell the story of what's already here, they can't necessarily develop new community value (shops, restaurants, attractions) on their own. We need more business leaders willing to step up and add to the experiences offered to tourists, and to take further advantage of the natural and built amenities that we already offer by strengthening their presence and quality in the eyes of travelers.

You can assign the lack of "touristic type development" into economic development's grade if you want to, but it ultimately affects how we do in the tourism category and how tourists experience this community. Yes, a lot of these areas cross paths and it's good to understand those relationships. But in the way of touristic offerings, we need to face the music as a community and understand we need to make significant investments in that area one way or another. And when we do, we'll all be better off.

NickMeyer

I heard that the Farmers' Market was collecting money to purchase that hideous "Granny" sculpture on Barstow St. Why do they want people to lose their appetites before they shop?

Why should the artist be willing to donate it? Because the cost of materials in producing it was maybe only a couple thousand dollars? Because the perhaps 200 hours they spent making it should just be for fun, not to make a living? Would YOU be willing to donate a couple thousand dollars and take time off of your work, unpaid, to donate 200 hours of community service to the Farmers Market? Let alone one in a community you don't even live in?

I don't know the actual cost and time put into this piece, but I don't think my numbers would be that far off (low if anything). But I think you get the point. And whether someone personally likes the piece or not is irrelevant.

This community has a bit of a problem with valuing the work of artists, musicians, and the like. And admittedly, Volume One has wrestled with this issue too. While the exposure we can help provide to a local artist or musician is great, it's not the same as directly helping them earn a living.

That being said, the problem stems from sentiments exactly like yours here, that these working artists should just "donate" everything they do. If we want a sustainable creative community of any kind, we're going to have to realize these people should be paid whenever possible.