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Redevelopment Commission hears Crump report

The Columbus Redevelopment Commission held a special meeting Monday night to discuss the future of the historic Crump theater. Commission members and a packed meeting room heard the "Crump Analysis Report" put together by a consultant group hired by the city.

The presentation began with an overview of what the community needs in relation to the performing arts. According to the report, a dedicated space for concerts, comedy and other live performances is definitely needed. Currently, shows in Columbus are being held in what the consultants called "alternative sites." These include schools, churches and other places that are not dedicated to the performing arts.

The report addressed why having a dedicated performing arts center is so important. The lack of a "home" venue is limiting opportunities for the community. According to one consultant, she was "shocked" that Columbus does not have a community theater group or children's theater group. By not having these organizations and a place to showcase their talents, the arts are not being nurtured as well as they could be.

Along with the nurturing aspect, the report addressed other reasons why having a dedicated performing arts space would be a good thing for Columbus. The existing venues are "part-time" and promoters are not aware of their availability. There is also the issue of poor acoustics and a lack of production support facilities. The consultants again emphasized that having a space to perform is not enough. Sound, lighting and seating are all big parts in making a successful performance.

While the consultants said that they have a number of suggestions, they added that they are unable to make a recommendation until the fate of the former Sears store is finalized. The ideas being considered include a multi-million dollar renovation to the Crump. This renovation would see the addition of space for storage, loading and unloading, dressing rooms with plumbing and seating for approximately 460 patrons.

All of the suggestions are scheduled to be made available on the city's website, http://www.columbus.in.gov/, by Tuesday.

Last Updated: Monday, March 24, 2014 8:42:03 PM

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