Wanted: 'Guardian ad litem' for cultural facilities

Andrew Taylor blogs about the complex issues surrounding the creation of large civic facilities. Falls right into GIA's capitalization discussion. Plan for building and equally important is realistic planning for years of operation.

Conversations about complex or difficult projects move quickly toward accusing the ego-centric design architect, the powerful and coercive lead donor, the status-hungry board, the shopaholic resident companies or artistic teams, the career-focused chief executive—or some combination thereof.

But the more I study and learn about large-scale civic investments like performing arts centers, museums, or the like, the more I perceive a different dynamic. It's not that everyone at the table is opportunistic and hell-bent toward their own agenda (although, that may be the case from time to time). Rather, it's that everyone at the table has a sincerely different vision for the outcome, and a different lens on what would make it successful.

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