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Arts Alliance Relaunches

After meager participation, the struggling Alliance for the Performing Arts starts over.

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The Alliance for the Performing Arts, the group that formed in 1999 to study city performance venues and eventually lobbied to build CenterStage, is re-launching after internal deliberations about whether to dissolve.

The task force for determining the group's future, headed by the Richmond Symphony's executive director, David Fisk, recommends beginning anew after evaluating responses to an e-mail survey distributed to members following lackluster attendance at monthly meetings. The questions gauged whether the alliance should close, start with new energy as a performing arts collective or expand into a regional organization that also includes arts groups not focused on performance.

Most respondents were neutral on whether involvement in the longstanding alliance was “valuable for my organization in its current form.” A majority agreed, or strongly agreed, that the alliance remains a valuable proposition and that “membership should be expanded to include other arts and cultural groups,” with museums and galleries most preferred. But the group isn't planning to expand outside the region.

“We felt there was sufficient work for the performing arts organizations to do together to really be worth focusing on without broadening it and potentially diluting it,” Fisk says.

Fisk's recommendations for the repurposed group include meetings every other month; membership extended to for-profit arts groups and venues; and cooperation between the new alliance and CultureWorks, the area arts advocacy group started a year ago.

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