04/14/07 — Arts are vital: Keep the enthusiam going beyond theater rebuilding

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Arts are vital: Keep the enthusiam going beyond theater rebuilding

It isn’t as easy as it looks to rebuild an icon.

So, it is not surprising that Goldsboro businessman David Weil has had a few bumps along the way in his quest to rebuild the Paramount Theater. That’s what happens when you take on such a huge project just because it is the right thing to do for your community.

So how have he and the other volunteers who are working so hard to bring the theater back kept their spirits up and the project on track?

The answer is simple: They know they have a boatload of community support behind them.

Since the Paramount burned in 2005, there have been many people who have launched fundraisers big and small to help recreate the magic that was the downtown theater.

And when Weil announced that he would spearhead the efforts to get the theater rebuilt, even more people offered their talents and their sweat equity to get the job done.

Appropriately, Weil is not interested in credit for his endeavor — it is the community’s project, he says.

And the $300,000-plus he has collected to date to get the work done is proof of that.

But even though the Paramount project has come a long way since that fateful day of the fire, there is still a lot of work to be done to make sure a bunch of blueprints and drawings becomes a full-fledged theater.

There will be more fundraisers — that is the only way to make sure that this vision becomes a reality.

And there will be many more people who will work to plan performances to christen the facility when it is finished.

But the most important work will come when the theater is built, the lights are on and the curtains are drawn.

Because the Paramount is just a building without the performers who bring it to life and the audiences that come to enjoy the show.

Keeping a vibrant arts community in Wayne County is vital to this area’s continued growth and development.

The Paramount is a first step, but also important is creating opportunities for arts of all kinds — and to provide the means for the artists to share their work.

Learning to appreciate the arts is not a trait everyone is born with — sometimes it is hard to open up your mind to dance, music, theater, painting and other works.

But when you do, you will understand why resurrecting places like the Paramount Theater is so important.

This county now has a chance to think about not only this project, but providing a strong base for the future of the arts here.

Weil and others have helped us find our priorities. Now, we need to think about their application.

Published in Editorials on April 14, 2007 5:12 PM