The fight for Art & Music in Richmond

MarcusNation

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Read and discuss. Curious what some of you guys think. There is a great mix or "old-timers" and "newcomers" to Richmond on these boards and a lot of different views on how the city should be maintaining and promoting itself. Here is a couple of articles from Style Weekly if you aren't familiar with the recent events surrounding the Art and Music scene.

The article the spurred the debacle:
http://www.styleweekly.com/ME2/dirm...91&tier=4&id=9ADBC5EFD2954A429E72F29F53C588D3

The first article published last issue... the "as a result of the aforementioned article..":
http://www.styleweekly.com/ME2/Audi...F61591&AudID=AE6FBAD9A9574D429566425E856C8C66

The follow-up article in the current issue of Style:
http://www.styleweekly.com/ME2/Audi...8810A5&AudID=20938C672A3049EEB0CF33069AEE1AE0
 
I'll just say I'm proud of Casey, Danny, Parker and others for doing what they can to stand up against this. They're all great people with great vision and a true desire for Richmond to progress and not regress.
 
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=205346730373&ref=ts

.44 cent party Danny and Tiffany of Community Chest are throwing at the Triple.

Come out, write the letter, shoot free pool, have a beer and discuss the our progress in fighting for small business rights.

Just the cost of a stamp to mail your letter! If you have a little cash to donate for more stamps and some envelopes then I'm sure they would not turn that down!
 
I'll just say I'm proud of Casey, Danny, Parker and others for doing what they can to stand up against this.

Standing up against what? The city of Richmond enforcing the law?????? I have no problem with arts and music in Richmond, BUT make sure your venue is safe, file for the correct permits, and follow the zoning ordinances.
 
I can see this from both sides. There does need to be safety, and usually self-regulation doesn't really cut it, as somebody eventually cuts too many corners, or looks the other way one too many times... frankly I'm surprised events like the Whitesnake fire don't happen more frequently than they do... lord knows I went to some after-hours house parties back in the day that were safety nightmares in hindsight.

But, the problem arises when the authorities seem to practice selective enforcement, based not on the risk/benefit behind the policies, but for other reasons. I can't tell from the articles just how much of that is really happening... hard to know how much embedded spin there is, plus I have my own biases... but I have seen similar patterns elsewhere. Maybe enforcement choices are being effected by cultural biases, or with the property interests of one group held higher than another, or perhaps it's just a matter of whack-a-mole... those that stick their heads up are more likely to get swatted (less investigative work needed, yet you can still pad your numbers).

my memory of the RVA scene before I left was that there was very little interface or intermediary organization between the city and the DIY arts community... a lot of separation between the underground and the establishment ...and seemingly what connection there was had a lot to do with VCU

up here we've got fairly extensive outreach between the two worlds.... true, it can dull the edge a little and make things a tad by-committee sometimes, but it can also facilitate a positive environment and a generally supportive public
 
ROW6RAM said:
Standing up against what? The city of Richmond enforcing the law?????? I have no problem with arts and music in Richmond, BUT make sure your venue is safe, file for the correct permits, and follow the zoning ordinances.

Laws that were created in order to help eradicate crack houses and illegal boarding houses are being used against pool halls that have a band show up. Some of these music events being shut down are being shut down without a single noise complaint (the shows don't even start half the time) and without any kind of capacity issue. The laws in Richmond are being twisted to perpetually fine anybody that tries to organize live music events in the city. And these fines are often in the thousands of dollars.

This has got nothing to do with anybody being worried about the venues being safe or not, this has everything to do with a small group of city employees and police officers trying to intimidate and bully people.
 
As I said, apply for the proper permit. Make sure your establishment is zoned properly. Then you don't have to be worried about being "bullied".
 
as with so many things... perhaps everything... people like to oversimplify

there's more than one issue at play here

should an enterprise abide by the law by getting permits, paying taxes, obeying and/or getting variances for zoning? .... of course they should, but many businesses, of many differing types, slip up and violate some or even all of the above from time to time and all the time ...most of the time there's no bad faith, but the law is the law

so given that there is pretty much always a pool of mostly well-meaning violators, that brings up the second issue...

of those enterprises that have done something wrong, is any particular type of business being singled out for stricter enforcement than others? If so, there could still be a valid reason.... do those particular types of business present a greater degree of risk of harm of the type that the broken rule was put in place to prevent? If so, then stricter enforcement is logical, but if not, than stricter enforcement is very arguably unfair.

however, if the pool of violators is disproportionally made up of a particular type of enterprise, then perhaps it's an indication that those involved in those businesses need to work on getting their enterprises inline with the law and/or getting the law inline with their businesses.
 
artRAMinMN said:
however, if the pool of violators is disproportionally made up of a particular type of enterprise, then perhaps it's an indication that those involved in those businesses need to work on getting their enterprises inline with the law and/or getting the law inline with their businesses.

Correct. And this is exactly what is going on right now. Danny and company are working on both making sure that businesses have access to appropriate information regarding what they need to do, while also seeing what can be done to bring the law inline with what these businesses are trying to do. Some of these show cancellations and the fines associated with them have been pretty ridiculous from a rational point of view. The law may be the law, but it doesn't always make sense.
 
Is there any relevance to the fact that many of these buildings in question are historic properties that can not be altered? So, many buildings are from a hundred years ago, the capacity and building uses are much different now. Is there zero flexibility for these buildings now?
 
MarcusNation said:
Is there any relevance to the fact that many of these buildings in question are historic properties that can not be altered? So, many buildings are from a hundred years ago, the capacity and building uses are much different now. Is there zero flexibility for these buildings now?

it all depends on the specifics... specific local ordinances, zoning rules, if there are state or federal historic district designations, etc... there can be multiple layers, some of which may not apply in every place/case

zoning laws only have to meet the lowest level of constitutional scrutiny, the "rational basis" standard, which mostly just means a rule can't be arbitrary and capricious, and the burden of proof is on the challenger

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictiona ... Basis+Test
 
Danny, Casey and Parker will be on the Channel 8 news at 11:00pm tonight for a story regarding the issues. Tune in!
 
Sometimes said:
Danny, Casey and Parker will be on the Channel 8 news at 11:00pm tonight for a story regarding the issues. Tune in!

False alarm. Apparently they'll be on the news tonight, not last night.
 
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