At times like this I find myself wondering, What Would Kip Do?
The CVCA executive board recently asked Molly Cornwell to vacate the building in a manner not befitting the Arts Board nor Mollys’ long history of serving the Center, the Downtown and this community. Many in the community have expressed outrage and sadness over this on social media.
Hoping to express this directly to the Board at their monthly meeting tonight, many planned to attend tonight’s Board meeting. However, CVCA’s Board President, Leslie Kim, has informed the board that tonight’s meeting is closed to the public, and that all future board meetings will be open only to paying members.
Our Arts board has dis-invited the public.
Can this be the same Arts Board which worked so beautifully with Kip Culver, the ‘pied piper’ and Executive Director of CVCA for over a decade of milestones and merriment celebrated by this community? A decade which saw the restoration of the 3rd floor, new electrical upgrades and the installation of the elevator. A decade which brought us all together for dozens – and dozens more – of fundraiser galas and community events on the steps of the Center and along Oak street?
Can this be the same Molly Cornwell who was there with Kip from the start? Whose enthusiasm and energy for creating community downtown, first caught Kip’s eye when she took a building on Broad street and opened a shop which spilled out onto the street and into the community. Of course Kip invited her to move her shop into the basement of the Arts Center, knowing that Molly was more than her shop and her prodigious e-mail list which brought people to Globe each month.
Is this the same Molly which served as an un-paid ambassador for the area as visitors wondered our streets? Whose shop in the CVCA basement was often the only business open downtown on Sundays – welcoming many a visitor on weekends who went back home beaming about Globe and their time with Molly, telling others and vowing to return again?
Her shop was a hub of activity which went far beyond the items she sold and Kip understood the value of this for all that it could bring to the Center and his beloved Globe. Molly connected people to each other, to ideas and possibilities, to the Arts Center and Globe’s downtown.
The Arts Center has had people working on its behalf for over three decades, but none more than the decade of Kip and Molly who- while largely un-paid for their work on behalf of the Center – helped to ensure the buildings’ health and viability and brought a whole new level of community-love for the Center and all-things Downtown.
Now, it seems that the Executive Board of the Center has a new plan. A different vision. And it involves dismantling some things. And that has people asking questions.
Kip Culver was a visionary and would have been the first to encourage new visions.
But his genius was in recognizing how to fold new visions in with community good will and bring us all along on the ride. He paid for an elevator at the Center, launched an excursion train, saved more than one old historic building downtown and used Molly and her shop prodigiously to help see his vision through.
The new vision seems to have none of these elements and appears off to a rocky start.
Kip, I’m certain, would be working the back rooms to fix it. No, actually that’s wrong.
He would have been working the back rooms long before now to find a resolution so it never got to this point. But then the role of Executive Director was also disbanded by the board in 2015 after his passing and the duties split among many.
I wonder who got the duty of visionary leader.