Downtown Update scheduled for Tuesday


Some of those who are among the driving forces behind the ongoing renaissance and revitalization of downtown will come together to discuss future projects and initiatives during Downtown Inc's semiannual stakeholder briefing and breakfast.

The Downtown Update is open to the public at no cost and will be held Tuesday in Santander Stadium's White Rose Room, with breakfast to begin at 7:30 a.m. and a program that is scheduled to run from 8 to 9 a.m. Those who wish to attend must RSVP.

"Generally what we see are stakeholders and people who have a general interest in what's going on downtown," said Downtown Inc's Meagan Feeser. "It's just a really great way to stay informed on the various projects all of these groups are working on."

Feeser said there will be a variety presenters at the event, including Cal Weary, CEO of The Weary Arts Group and the new manager of White Rose Community Television.

Not so Weary: The Weary Arts Group, having just wrapped up an inaugural year loaded with projects, strives to bring local performers, artists and technicians of all types together to give back to their community.

"We recently partnered with the city to bring more content to White Rose Community TV," Weary said. "If you watch the station as it is right now, you can see they're trying to develop and grow, and it's perfect to have an arts organization like us to help with that."

The organization is an arts collective of contractors who focus on any range of things, from performance to prop building, and emphasize both arts education and performance and production, Weary said.

Weary hopes to develop an "in-city hub" at the Marketview Arts building for the community television station where people will not be only be able to drop off videos but learn about editing and how to better produce their own content as well, he said.

"We're looking to work with a number of organizations who classically haven't been using the services that we offer," Weary said. "We're looking to be that liaison and to help build up those relationships."

Briefing: During the briefing Tuesday, Weary said he plans to talk about many things in addition to the new collaborative effort with the community television station.

In addition to classic classes, Weary said he's looking forward to developing the drop-in classes.

"Say you don't want to spend $100 on tap lessons — with a drop-in, you can come take the class and you never have to come back again if you don't want to and only pay few bucks," he said. "You could come back a month from now and take it, it'll just be a tap class for the sake of tap where you can just come in and enjoy it."

Weary said he has plenty of ideas for new classes and will gauge interest and set up a firm schedule based on that.

"We really want to start a floor barre class," he said, noting there are only two certified teachers in the state, one of whom is a member of the arts group. "We really think it could be one of the next cool things."

Floor barre, unlike traditional barre exercises which are usually practiced by ballet dancers standing upright, will take place on the ground to provide beginners with extra support to help enhance and better technique.

Other speakers: Weary on Tuesday will be joined by an array of speakers including Todd Fogdall, president and CEO of the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center; Derek Dilks, developing downtown real estate; Jimmy Ilyes, manager of Penn Street Farmers Market; and Tim Miller and Tim Fulton of Downtown Inc on downtown landscape improvements, Feeser said.

Feeser said presentations will include updates on the lighting project for the bridges and Continental Square, leadership changes at the Penn Street Farmers Market and the Citizens Bank building.

To RSVP to the breakfast, find the event on Downtown Inc's Facebook page or visit the organization's website at

— Reach Jessica Schladebeck at