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EARLIER: What we think: City Center show must go on

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By The Staff

Successful entertainment comes from a vivid imagination, from a cell of creativity that is given birth as a living, breathing reality of words, music and scenery. Do that process well, and you are left with a creation we can cherish, an everlasting benefit to everyone.

And now we know that such conception has been happening in Shelby County, and we, too, could be delivered a bundle of boundless benefit for all.

We as citizens will get our first look Monday at the first act of a production that has been percolating for a couple of years and now has been developed into an outline for a really great story: the conversion of a block of downtown Shelbyville into a City Center for convention and performance.

To this idea, we say, bravo.

We have asserted several times that downtown Shelbyville needs a civic center, a place where schools and community groups could stage events, where we could establish cultural activities, attract visitors and generate a new line of business.

Similarly, you have heard community and business leaders in brainstorm sessions establish as their top priority the addition of a convention center in Shelby County.  And we’ve agreed.

Now we all can share in that opportunity.

This vision for downtown, which will be presented by former Shelby County Schools Superintendent Leon Mooneyham and others, creates that desired premium convention space business leaders desire and also establishes a cultural venue that would help the Shelby County Community Theatre, our schools and other groups to conduct performances that we all could enjoy.

Their vision would marry the tradition of existing facilities with history and opportunity to form a beautiful new property that would be a magnet for downtown and a destination unparalleled in the counties immediately surrounding Louisville.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a state-of-the-art hall where several hundred people could convene for meetings and training?

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a performance center with all the amenities to expand the options for entertainment, including luring visiting acts and giving our schools a place to put on more challenging shows?

And don’t you think such a plan would have a positive impact on the county’s bid to lure Harley-Davidson’s largest plant? When companies look at communities, cultural amenities are part of the equation. Shelby County suddenly would have a larger check mark in that column.

We realize this will be no one-act or one-person show.

There will be many questions and significant issues to be confronted and solved to take this idea on the road, but the fact that a real virtuoso vision is being developed is a curtain-raising moment for all of us.

Mooneyham understands the probable twists in his plot, but he also believes in happy endings. He is prepared to write one.

Now Shelbyville Mayor Tom Hardesty, Shelby County Judge-Executive Rob Rothenburger, the leaders of our businesses and foundations and private citizens with means become the stars in a revue that could shove Shelby County center stage, into a spotlight of opportunity.

They will headline a cast that must be large and versatile, and their next steps must be choreographed with precision. There will be pratfalls and blown lines, but the stars must shine in this scene.

Because, no matter what, we believe that this is a show that must go on.