Thursday, June 03, 2004

Irrational exuberance

Here are several emails sent out to the Cool Cities group whooping it up in response to the 100,000 catalyst grant from the state:

K'zoo wins Cool Cities grant; Money will fund move of Northside metalworking school

And to add something else Cool to all of this, Art Hop is listed as a Cool City case study. You can read about it here"

"President Bailey asked me to convey to everyone how thrilled and
proud everyone at WMU is over this !! How COOL !"

"Congratulations to one and all. This is BIG!"

and my favorite:

"A Smartshop metalworking school and art gallery---How cool to live in
such a progressive City! I am constantly amazed and delighted at what
comes out of Kalamazoo---and to think, not too long ago, our slogan was
"Yes, there really is a Kalamazoo!"--now, there's no question. Kalamazoo
is definitely on its way!

Congratulations to everyone who contributed to this Grant!"

Listen everybody: Simmer. Down.

Let's look at the last lines of that Gazette story:

"'The awardees are people who have leveraged their dollars,' said David Hollister, director of the state's Department of Labor and Economic Growth.

He added that the administration's intent is to create something lasting, 'not just something for a couple of rinky-dink cities to hang out a shingle and say, 'We're cool.''"

Oops. Sorry Dave. I'm ambivalent on metalworking (it had totally passed under my radar until yesterday), but I'm more than a bit skeptical of the anticipated impact of this project. I'm going to take a look at the old and new site of the metalworking school and share my analysis in the next couple days. And though the governor has emphasized arts and culture, I can't help but think that a metalworking TRADE school would have more of an impact on the community, providing economic development and urban redevelopment, than a metalworking ART school.


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