April 19, 2009 at 8:45 pm (Reporting)

This week I talked to Derek Morrell from Rams Head Live! and Josh Atkins from the Hexagon. Both have their issues with running the venues and their current situation with City Bill 08-0163.

According to Morrell, the bill is just another attempt for the city to earn money. And Atkins also has money problems with the Hexagon. Granted, that’s a pretty obvious problem for everyone right now, a number of potential fees and taxes added on to the ones currently instated is a pretty terrible situation.

I also made my way to the Community Work Session held by the City Council in order to hear the complaints from the stablished performance space, restaurant and tavern owners.

What I found intersting was that the City Council claims to be working for the interest of the arts community, but the chairperson was unaware of Wham City. As I’ve mentioned many times, Wham City one of the main reasons Baltimore was named Best Scene by Rolling Stone. It was pretty clear that he did not know what it was when he asked Adam Endres, who represented the collective on Thursday’s meeting, what the group he was representing was called.

It was enriching to hear the interests of the community compared to the ones I’ve read on the internet. Aside from the licensing fees, moral character and the noise complaint radius, I begun to understand both sides of the argument of the bill. The venue owners were concerned about the safety of the venues and stationing uniformed policemen there, the wording of the bill, the status of the scene and the zoning, among other things. They also shared their appreciations.

There’s going to be one last meeting at the Federal Hill Preparatory School on April 23.


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