Craige Hoover has done as much as anyone along 30A to create sustainable cultural and performing arts venues and activities. His efforts in building the Seaside Repertory Theatre are commendable.
Creating cultural and civic life in general is tantamount to creating and maximizing long-term economic value, and Craige’s passion and experience is valuable.
Craige sat in on some of our earlier Alys Beach meetings, so I have experienced Craige’s energy, wit, and creativity directly. And the performances that he has acted in or produced have been excellent. Plus, he’s likable. He has been and will continue to be a valuable resource for Alys Beach.
Alys Beach, FL
Helping New Urbanist town builders and citizens place culture at the center of the building of community is a wonderful project for you to undertake.
It is easy to confuse the building of community with the planning process or with the bricks and mortar of the buildings. Seaside’s success, however, is a result of efforts to gather people together from the beginning, for the Seaside Saturday Market, for poetry readings and chamber music recitals on a beach pavilion, for parades and political stump speeches on 4th of July, for outdoor movies set on the Lido of Venice, shown on our own version of it.
It is also easy to confuse cultural development with the building of performing arts buildings, but you have shown us that a professional theater troupe can be put together, and an incredibly ambitious theatrical program can find an audience, in a leftover space behind a grocery store. Your development of the Seaside Rep took theater to a new level in Seaside and was a catalyzing force in bringing all of the New Urbanist (and old urbanist) communities of 30A together.
Best of luck in your efforts to help more places develop arts programs that will make them more successful communities.
In my time as the Executive Director of the Seaside institute, I had the pleasure of working very closely with Craige Hoover on a number of projects, as well as witnessing first-hand the impact of his presence in Seaside and all along the 30-A corridor. His contribution to the thriving artistic community in the region is unmatched. It was clear back in 2000, when I first met Craige, that his rare combination of vision, charisma, and pragmatism would be a valuable asset to the community. Now that he is taking his “show on the road,” other towns will have the opportunity to benefit directly from his talent and expertise.
Principal, Phyllis Bleiweis & Associates LLC
Member, New Urban Team