Looks like dogs outrank art in Mt. Pleasant.

Mayor Pro-Tem Kruger Smith said Thursday he thinks a performing arts center would be a good complement to the town’s plans to build a $14 million Memorial Waterfront Park, according to today‘s report in the Post and Courier.

The land, just north of Hwy. 17, is currently being turned over by the state. Mt. Pleasant plans to open the park on Memorial Day 2009. It will include a 1,200-foot-long pier into the Cooper River, a war memorial, an amphitheater, a sweetgrass pavilion, a visitors center, and a playground.

A performing arts center would provide arts groups a much-needed venue. It would give arts patrons a second big-time venue to chose from in addition to the one in North Charleston. It would serve as a center around which other, smaller cultural organizations can build, like the Village Playhouse, which currently resides in a tiny space in a shopping plaza. And it would raise Mt. Pleasant’s profile, from a community that loves the Pottery Barn to a community that embraces art and culture as much as downtown Charleston.

Don’t tell that the dog lovers, though.

Mt. Pleasant Councilman Gary Santos, a dog park advocate, told the newspaper the planned amphitheater was enough for the arts. Give the arts an amphitheater and give the rest of us a dog park. “A win-win situation,” he called it.

Someone should give Santos a quick tutorial on the limited function of amphitheaters and the limited number of arts events that can be staged in such venues.

Why build with such limits in mind? Why not think big?

(Image above courtesy of ADC Engineering and the Town of Mount Pleasant via the Charleston Post and Courier)

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