Part 1. What it isn't.
There is a lot of discussion surrounding recent happenings in Art Alley. That is good. It is better to have an engaged community than a passive and unresponsive one. It means Art Alley means something to you, like it does to me, and all of us at the Rapid City Arts Council. This engagement and value is what it takes to make a space like Art Alley thrive rather than wither away.
That being said, it’s important to get all of the information out there so that people can begin to move forward without being slowed down by misinformation. Some community members have concerns dealing with censorship and critiquing artwork with the new permit process. These are valid concerns.
Some have speculated that this is a grab for control or driven by money. It is not. It is a partnership between building owners (Owners), the Rapid City Arts Council (RCAC), the City of Rapid City, artists and community members.
Someone said the “Big Brother Art Nazi’s have come to tell you what art is.” This is also not true. The partnership values the rights of the Owners and artists alike in the creative process. Working together we can help artists grow, become familiar with the Permit System and gain valuable experience creating public art work. At the same time we, as a community, will be respecting the Owners and their private property rights.
The RCAC was the selected facilitator of the Art Alley Permit System because for over 45 years we have provided creative opportunities with a focus on accessibility to the people of Rapid City. Our staff are capable, competent and invested in keeping Art Alley open as a creative asset for the locals and visitors.
We will work with the Owners and Artists to sustain this amazing space - filled with diverse artistic expression that is exciting, raw, real and family friendly - while always respecting artist’s perspectives and the Owners rights.
Check back tomorrow for the next piece in our four part series about the permit system, and please join us for a public reception with artists, business and building owners for the permit system on Tuesday, April 12th from 5:30-7pm at The Dahl Arts Center.