WXXI AM News

New 'Arts in the Loop' effort aims to use artistic activity to draw people downtown

Mar 21, 2019

Credit PBS.org

It’s called Arts in the Loop, and the play on words is partly related to the filling in and revamping of a portion of the Inner Loop.

Jim Doser, director of the Institute for Music Leadership at the Eastman School of Music, is one of the people involved in these discussions. He says the hope is to create art, media and technology exhibits throughout downtown.

“We see, though Main Street is our initial focus, we see this initiative moving out from Main Street in kind of ever expanding loops; so we’re kind of turning that concept of the Inner Loop as a separator now to an opportunity to connect to a wider group of community members,” Doser told WXXI News.

Doser says this concept could include things like pop up or temporary art galleries, and live performances in spaces that exist now between buildings. He says they are not trying to propose a lot of new construction.

There  are a range of community people in this effort, including artists, developers, the university sector and government. Doser says several other cities and communities have tried a similar concept, including Pittsburgh, Grand Rapids, Nashville, Brooklyn and Minneapolis.

One of the artists involved in the Rochester effort, Shawn Dunwoody, says there are a variety of visual and performing arts that could be brought to the downtown area.

"Create some new experiences, I think that's really what it's all about," Dunwoody said. "How do we generate new experiences and new life and a greater appreciation for the arts from all walks of life no matter your social, racial or ethnic background, that you can really be engaged in the arts that Rochester has."

The group involved in this effort is looking for public input. They have a survey at their website, artsintheloop.com