A blog dealing with Sarasota County and the City of Sarasota.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What one dollar is buying Ringling College

I think we ought to face the fact that Ringling College is probably the most successful enterprise/operation in Sarasota County today. They've grown their program, ascended to the peak in digital arts, done more than their share to improve the North Trail, brought great speakers to Sarasota, and they are persistent advocates for creativity, a trait we all could use more of. None of this happens without great leadership and the College has had plenty.

Which makes their current persistence in a quixotic foray all the more perplexing. Setting aside the questions of whether the Municipal Auditorium could actually meet the requirements of a sound stage, one has to wonder why a great and powerful institution would develop a blind spot and engage in behavior that most people would find inappropriate. But it happens.

That behavior wasn't coming up with an idea. And while some would take our City Commission to task for entertaining the proposal, they owe Ringling a fair hearing. When successful, creative thinkers come up with an out-of-the-box idea, people that could make it happen should listen. Ringling shouldn't be faulted for brainstorming a solution to a community problem.

But by now, it should be clear to Ringling that attempting a public resource grab with this much community resistance it not only not likely to succeed, but is morphing their image faster than any liquid crystal display.

Someone at Ringling calculated the price for the municipal auditorium to be one dollar. Now they need to go back and calculate the cost, because years of goodwill are rapidly disappearing down the drain as a broad coalition of citizens clap their hands to their foreheads in disbelief and reassess their image of one of our great local institutions.

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