Ft Scott Turning Downtown Into Destination
Tourism, business resource development, and downtown revitalization. Those are the areas of emphasis the Ft Scott Area Chamber of Commerce has identified for this year. And city officials believe a new attraction will help with all 3.
Denise Duncan and her husband Bobby are renovating a 2-story, historic building in downtown Ft. Scott. The goal? An all-encompassing fine arts center.
“I believe Ft Scott can be just like Marfa, Texas, Eureka Springs, or Teos, New Mexico,” Denise said. “You have tourists coming down for the fort, anyway, so why not have them come down for art and have that as a destination?”
The executive director of the Fort Scott Area Chamber, Lindsay Madison, says cities have to rethink the way down towns are shaped.
“The big box stores has changed what you go downtown to buy,” Madison said. “I think down towns have to look at those unique retailers that we have. But other things like arts and other types of business downtown.”
Essentially, finding businesses people have to get out of their home to experience. Destination spots. A spot the Duncans hope their arts center will become.
“I think down towns are essential for a city to thrive and be,” Denise said. “Any time you’ve seen decay in a downtown area the whole city, I think, suffers.”
“The best thing that can happen to an older town like this is to start moving people back into the area,” Bobby said. “People will come back, they’ll inhabit the place, and it will prosper.”
The center will host an art festival April 8th & 9th, The 2nd Story Festival of Arts & Ideas:
THURSDAY: BRANFORD MORSALIS IN CONCERT, ELLIS FINE ARTS CENTER
FRIDAY: IDEAS & ENTREPRENEURSHIP – PANELISTS, ROUNDTABLES & MORE, 7-9PM, EMPRESS EVENT CENTER, DOWNTOWN FS
SATURDAY: VARIOUS SESSIONS & HANDS-ON WORKSHOPS, LITERATURE & PUBLISHING, CHILDREN’S BOOKS, POETRY & MORE – PHOTOGRAPHY – POTTERY – WATERCOLOR
SPECIAL FEATURE – CULINARY ART SESSION BY JASPER OF JASPER’S RESTAURANT IN KC
SATURDAY EVENING EVENT: ART SALE, LIBATIONS, FOOD & MORE TO CELEBRATE THE ARTS IN FORT SCOTT
GRANTS WERE RECEIVED BY THE FSACF AND THE KANSAS CREATIVE ARTS INDUSTRIES COMMISSION (KCAIC) TO FUND THE FESTIVAL.