Arts and Culture District goes back to the drawing board

The hourlong work session on the Arts and Culture District – which will be located on the southwest corner of the intersection of Kearns Boulevard and Bonanza Drive in Prospector – was an opportunity for the Kimball Art Center and the Sundance Institute to meet with Park City’s new mayor and two new city council members to gauge their interest before moving forward.

Kimball Art Center Executive Director Aldy Milliken said what he heard is the council is on board with the idea as long as they all reset and think about some of the project’s original priorities.

“We have a community gathering area,” Millikan said. “That we focus on a place for locals and our tourist population to gather, an area that is focused on the mission of the Kimball Art Center – our classes, our exhibitions and then also a place for Sundance to call home. And, you know, a place for them to also explore their mission. So, I think community first, locals first and then try to attack some of these, the priorities that the city has, whether it’s housing or parking or transportation. ”

During the meeting, Park City Council Member Becca Gerber said she doesn’t want the council to take the lead on how the project evolves. Milliken agrees.

“I think that to have a really good culturally forward cultural district or cultural hub,” Milliken said, “it needs to be defined by the artists and the arts organizations in the community. So, I think what happened was that we got a little ahead of ourselves by trying to accomplish too many things in a short period of time. And really, what I think we can do is we’ll define the parameters of the project, and then start working in, sort of, building from a nucleus and radiating out from there. ”

As the new leader for the Kimball, Millikan said they are also reevaluating the draft plans for a new art center that were designed before the pandemic hit in 2020. He says he’s working to distill what the art center can achieve for both the money and space they have and are relooking at their priorities as a cultural organization.

Park City Council Member Jeremy Rubell said he wants the city to have a publicly vetted plan before the area is developed.

“I need to see an area plan and understand that specific parcel on the corner of Bonanza and Kearns is the right one for the community gathering hub or community gathering space that we’re talking about with those arts and culture components,” Rubell said. . “And it’s just a question up in the air right now. And I think the gist of the whole conversation is, let’s leave that to experts. Let’s leave it to planners and the organizations involved and, you know, see what they come up with. And then we’ll talk to the community and see if it’s the right answer to move forward with or not. ”

The next step, Milliken said, is for all of the parties to get together and start working on a feasibility study and a development agreement – something more formal than the letter of intent signed in 2017.

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