[Source: Arizona Republic Editorial Board] — Metropolitan Phoenix is…an Opportunity Oasis. We are the last green economic “oasis” where raw ambition, hard work and a measure of skill can evolve, often quickly, into the quintessential Horatio Alger story. We are the “unpainted canvas” — the one community in America where someone with grit and a sense of creative enterprise can imprint his or her vision on the community and make it something different. Something more. Horatio Algers of the arts, apply here.
These are among the conclusions of a project known as the “Metro Phoenix DNA Project,” underwritten by the Maricopa Partnership for Arts and Culture. It is a quest to define what we are as a community and, as a result, help form what we may become. The quest is every bit as high-minded and expansive as it sounds. “We try to understand what the soul of the community is,” explained Myra Millinger, president and CEO of MPAC. “We firmly believe that the creative community here is a critical core competency to the future of the community,” she said Monday in a meeting with The Arizona Republic Editorial Board.
The need for such a concept may not be easy to get one’s arms around. Is it, for example, an impatient assessment of what metropolitan Phoenix is now? Is the very effort to construct a community raison d’etre a tacit admission that…well, this desert-region metropolis has no identity, so one must be created and marketed? Heaven knows, we’ve been down that road a time or two before. Downtown Phoenix just barely survived an ill-fated run-in with a branding thingy called “Copper Square.” Is this — gulp! — Copper Square Redux? And is it, when all is said and done, a mere statement of the obvious? [Note: To read the full article, click here.]