The popular TV show, American Idol is set to go off the air after 15 seasons, but its legacy will live on through the talented performers the show discovered and shepherded; through spin off shows which enjoy a life of their own, and through the many connections the show made and doors it opened for those who took the stage; leaving even the ‘losers’ as winners in the end – simply by being part of the American Idol experience.
When asked why I support a Frank Lloyd Wright/Globe-Miami partnership it is because sharing a stage with them will elevate our community in ways we couldn’t hope to achieve without them. In much the way ‘American Idol’ advances the opportunities of those who made it on the show.
Like ‘American Idol’ which sought out undiscovered talent, the FLWschool is taking a calculated chance in pursuing a partnership with Globe-Miami. But unlike ‘Idol’ whose collaboration with young talent lasted less than a year, FLW school and its students each of whom are studying for a Masters of Architecture will dedicate the next four years to implementing over two dozen projects throughout both communities.
This has never been done in the school’s history and the impetus behind the offer is a recent change in accreditation rules which require the school to seek out new funding sources independent of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation which manages the college campuses, hosting over 100,000 visitors a year. The end of year deadline to raise the necessary funding for this project is approaching quickly and the fate of this opportunity still hangs in the balance.
The project has received the blessing of both the City of Globe and the Town of Miami, and aligns with five priorities identified through the local Community Partnership Panel including education, community/economic development, community services, cultural/historic preservation and infrastructure.
It has generated over 70 letters of support and $550,000 in pledge amounts from the United Fund of Globe-Miami, Capstone Mining, and local businesses and individuals. While all of this puts us close to landing this, it will take additional big pledges to close the funding gap and meet the deadline. Our corporate and community leaders who have a vested interest in the future of Globe-Miami, must also step up.
A quick look at the winners on American Idol reveals the unlikely talent who waited tables, sang at weddings, came from broken homes, paid for voice lessons by washing cars, and raised families while nurturing their dream. They had passion, grit and talent. What they lacked was funding, opportunity, vision and the skill to implement.
Being part of American Idol gave them those things – and let them shine on a Big Stage.
The rest was up to them.
We could not ask for a better partnership than the four-year, Frank Lloyd Wright/Globe-Miami project to give us a leg up on the future.