Death of a dream

Debra Lucero showed up at the Chico City Council meeting Tuesday (Aug. 1). She had no reason to be there; she just wanted to witness the death of her dream.

For 4 1/2 years Lucero, who heads the group Friends of the Arts, the state-local partnership sponsored by the California Arts Council, worked to transform the old Municipal Building at Fifth and Main streets into a public art facility.

The effort involved several proposals at several times and involved several groups, including Chico State University and the Chico Museum, but nothing ever gelled. Either the groups didn’t agree or there wasn’t enough money or the timing wasn’t right—something always seemed to come up to scotch the deal.

Finally the city decided it needed the space as a municipal building, after all. Tuesday night, it unveiled its plan to put a police substation and offices in there.

For those of us like Lucero who hoped that Chico would finally have a thriving downtown art facility, the death of the dream is painful. It would have been a wonderful addition to the cultural life of downtown. It’s a shame that it never happened.

On a happier note, though, Lucero reports that her group just received a $10,000 grant from the CAC to help put on the upcoming month-long Artoberfest celebration. Congratulations!