Sunday, June 13, 2010

Recent Report

      Suvo under surveillance
A recent (and expensive) tourism study commissioned by St. Johns County made many suggestions regarding how to increase the "visitor experience" for St. Augustine and it's environs. Many items were covered including insistence upon historical accuracy (Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse?) development of undeserved history (African American Freedom Trail) and further utililization of the Arts and cultural resources. We'll address the last one and use some quotes from the report.Of the summarised eleven recommendations three of them are regarding Art in St. Johns County. We have left out any reference to the "cultural" since recent local news stories regarding use of governmental monies shows that many have differing views on the definition of cultural (sociological?,anthropological?,history? arts?)

From the report: 
#5  Eliminate any downtown ordinances that might hamper cultural arts development such as length of performances inability to show artists at work, spontaneous performances etc.

#6  Iincubate artists and use their presence as a neighborhood economic engine.

#7  Promote better communication among arts groups within the destination.

Conclusion in summary:      "Eliminate downtown ordinances that hamper arts........Costing nothing to execute, this will have little direct impact upon visitation, but will be a major asset to building brand equity as an arts and culture destination."

#5 We like the word "any" in this statement. Since no one from the Magellan Group (the hired report group) had queried any artists from our group we must assume that these conclusions were drawn from the general public polls. (methodology here) Regional plein air "paint outs " have diverted from picturesque downtown St. Augustine since the passage of a recent ordinance making it illegal (100 dollar fine) to set up an easel and paint in most of the historic district. Does anybody reading this recognize a blatantly illegal ordinance? This indicates the adversarial relationship with outdoor artists that the City of St.Augustine fosters. This needs to stop.

#6 Reading this point we have a knee jerk reaction to the word "incubate" fearing that it might be misread as "isolate". we have already been isolated to six spaces in the slave Market, photographed and charged 75 dollars to wear a badge that identifies us as a "street performer".not artist.

#7 In response to this and the above "incubate" statement, many of us with Art In The Market believe that the less government is involved in the Arts, the more we have artistic freedom.We ask for no special studios, low interest loans, incubation (whatever that is!) or a set aside arts district. Simple reasonable time, place and manner restrictions make sense, stressing the word reasonable as opposed to arbitrary and capricious rules that are designed to illegally restrict First Amendment activity.We can see here in St. Johns County a scramble among diverse arts groups with their 501 3c status, scrambling for the government dollar, your dollars.We ask for nothing more than our established First Amendment rights with clear sensible "rules".


  1. Anonymous14 June, 2010

    maybe these 3 (larry, moe & curly) could set up their camera on west king and catch a few drug deals on film, oh no - they wouldn't do that, it could be dangerous!

  2. Anonymous17 June, 2010

    they should be waking up the sleeping idiots on the seawall at 6:00 every morning. see they every day on my way to work - too early for our law enforcement officers?

  3. Anonymous17 June, 2010

    Is It illegal to sleep on the seawall? This is why they are called homeless.