Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Hailey arts scene alive and well

City Council approves Hailey Arts Commission

Express Staff Writer

Agreeing that the arts are an integral part of the cultural and economic life of Hailey with the power to enrich the lives of its residents, the Hailey City Council Monday voted to create the Hailey Arts Commission.

"I think that's a good thing," Hailey Mayor Susan McBryant said. "That's an exciting thing for our city."

McBryant made her remarks moments after council members approved a resolution creating the arts commission based on the recommendations of an ad-hoc committee that looked into the feasibility of such a body.

The mission of the new arts commission of five members serving either two- or three-year terms will be to enhance the culture of the Hailey community by providing leadership, advocacy and support for the arts.

The commission will not have authority to bind any governing body affected by planning decisions. It will make recommendations upon a majority vote of its members to the Hailey City Council, the Hailey Planning and Zoning Commission, the Hailey Historic Commission, the Hailey Parks and Lands Board, the Hailey Library Board and others.

Before the City Council's vote to authorize the arts commission, members of the ad-hoc committee spoke in enthusiastic terms about the importance of a thriving arts scene and the creation of the commission.

Jim Spinelli, executive director of the Hailey Chamber of Commerce and a member of the ad-hoc committee, said a Hailey Arts Commission has the potential to act as a vehicle to help define what the city will look like in the future.

"This could be the real thing here," Spinelli said. "We're very much behind it."

Hailey resident and ad-hoc committee member Becki Keefer said the timing is right for the creation of the arts commission. "I think we're poised perfectly for this," Keefer said. "It (the arts) was an integral part of my childhood and could be for the city."

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