IBJOpinion

Museums can't change canal alone

August 28, 2010
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IBJ Letters To The Editor

As a longtime downtown resident and property owner, and frequent user of the Central Canal, I read with great interest the [Aug. 16] article “Missing the action: Museums struggle to capture foot traffic from busy canal."

However, I was puzzled about the way this topic was presented. Clearly the four cultural attractions mentioned are the gems of the canal, with each one bringing people specifically to their building to see their exhibits and experience their programs.

As someone who is often on the canal running, walking or on my Segway, I agree with the Indiana Historical Society’s CEO, John Herbst, when he observes that many canal users, especially at this time of year, are there for physical exercise—and a museum visit is not part of their plan while jogging or walking.

It seems to me that it is not the responsibility of the canal district cultural attractions—nor within their capabilities—to try to create the ambience that San Antonio’s canal provides (which is much more akin to what Massachusetts Avenue has achieved here in Indianapolis).

Too, the reporter failed to mention that the IHS, the Eiteljorg and the Indiana State Museum all offer visitors great little cafes adjacent to the canal, and that they also collaborate in programming, such as this year’s July 4th Canal Fest, the Mexican cultural tradition of Las Posadas in December (a procession which starts at the History Center and ends at the Eiteljorg), or the 14 very popular Thursday evening Concerts on the Canal at the Indiana History Center. None of these efforts were mentioned in the article as important efforts of the canal attractions.

To achieve San Antonio’s mix of retail, dining and nightlife would mean that other substantial real estate not owned or controlled by the cultural attractions mentioned would have to be developed—something we’re all waiting and hoping for.

____________

Joseph F. Miller

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  1. The deductible is entirely paid by the POWER account. No one ever has to contribute more than $25/month into the POWER account and it is often less. The only cost not paid out of the POWER account is the ER copay ($8-25) for non-emergent use of the ER. And under HIP 2.0, if a member calls the toll-free, 24 hour nurse line, and the nurse tells them to go to the ER, the copay is waived. It's also waived if the member is admitted to the hospital. Honestly, although it is certainly not "free" - I think Indiana has created a decent plan for the currently uninsured. Also consider that if a member obtains preventive care, she can lower her monthly contribution for the next year. Non-profits may pay up to 75% of the contribution on behalf of the member, and the member's employer may pay up to 50% of the contribution.

  2. I wonder if the governor could multi-task and talk to CMS about helping Indiana get our state based exchange going so Hoosiers don't lose subsidy if the court decision holds. One option I've seen is for states to contract with healthcare.gov. Or maybe Indiana isn't really interested in healthcare insurance coverage for Hoosiers.

  3. So, how much did either of YOU contribute? HGH Thank you Mr. Ozdemir for your investments in this city and your contribution to the arts.

  4. So heres brilliant planning for you...build a $30 M sports complex with tax dollars, yet send all the hotel tax revenue to Carmel and Fishers. Westfield will unlikely never see a payback but the hotel "centers" of Carmel and Fishers will get rich. Lousy strategy Andy Cook!

  5. AlanB, this is how it works...A corporate welfare queen makes a tiny contribution to the arts and gets tons of positive media from outlets like the IBJ. In turn, they are more easily to get their 10s of millions of dollars of corporate welfare (ironically from the same people who are against welfare for humans).

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