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LMC Community Impact Statement
The Bronzeville Community
on Chicago’s Southside has a legendary past. Over the decades it has been home or birthplace to a significant number of iconic performers and writers whose unparalleled contributions to Black American culture have been celebrated throughout the world. Lillian Marcie Performing Arts Center (LMC) seeks to become the institutional realization of this legacy, and in so doing, become the cultural epicenter in the crusade to revitalize the community it will serve in ways both tangible and ethical. Our chief ambition is contained within our raison d’être: To embody the self-sustaining holistic power of Black American culture.
As campus managers of LMC, one of the ways we intend to add value to the surrounding neighborhood is by recruiting residents to work with us in maintaining the efficient operation of the building itself. As an institution which will manifest the culture of the demographic where it is based, it is vital to our success that the campus remains physically beautiful, and of overall spiritual benefit to the people. The jobs required and created will include building maintenance, box office staff, ushering and catering staff, groundkeepers, custodians, electricians, engineers, technicians, carpenters, designers, developers, and a host of other positions which will necessitate both long term and seasonal contractors, employees, and vendors. The result of our need to draw from a local labor pool will be to increase the taxpayer base of Bronzeville and, by extension, the state. We firmly believe that as the center develops at the behest of our award-winning partners, it will simultaneously increase the property value of the surrounding blocks. More important, however, is that built into its very concept LMC will be the self-perpetuating benefit derived from providing a venue for local and national talent to perform. The talent will bring not only themselves to bear; indeed, an entire industry comes with them: agents, instructors, managers, theater bookers, travel agents, marketers, recruiters, media ad buys, and the like.
LMC will be unique on the Southside in that we will be a state-of-the-art live performance center presenting exemplary content. It is a curious fact that at present there are numerous arts companies that were established on the Southside with no performance home in the community of their genesis. Consumers of the very highest quality of Black Theater and Dance typically are compelled to travel to the Northside or Downtown Chicago. This need not be the case. The LMC will become the hub where these institutions may be housed for generations to come. We will be distinguished by having thought through the pitfalls that have created the present dearth of local live (and filmed) entertainment: a practicable design of the facility which may sustain long term and one-off performances, easy ingress and egress to the stage and auditoria, self-contained parking, and a smooth flow of maintenance and operations.
Until now, it has not been true for Bronzeville. Where some might see modern day Bronzeville as a vacuum in a once vibrant culture, the managers of LMC view it as an area of inestimable potential. We have every confidence that our potential partners, lessees and local denizens will only add to the momentum of the making our community a model for what is possible when engaged management works together the people it serves.