SENATOR Theatre RFP: Theatre Historical Society of America Pres. Clarifies Position

Karen Colizzi Noonan, Theatre Historical Society of America‘s (THSA) commented today on Adam Meister’s article clarifying her position both regarding her letter to Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and her experience serving on the BDC’s Senator Advisory Panel.

Initially, it seemed like my scope of knowledge would be sufficient. When the discussion surpassed my expertise I suggested that the board contact the League of Historic American Theatres. The BDC immediately contacted them and the League worked to connect them with one of their association members.

More importantly, my reason for stepping off the BDC committee was primarily because of my physical location in New York state. I participated in the initial 4 hour meeting by phone which was enlightening and productive. As you might imagine, it is extremely difficult to truly contribute by remote access. I felt that someone physically sitting at the table would be of more benefit to the deliberations. I remain committed to the respectful reuse of the Senator Theater and wish the City of Baltimore and the Senator Theater a successful outcome.

Added shortly thereafter:

Apparently one further point of clarification is necessary.

In case there is any doubt – I do not believe that there has been sufficient ONGOING dialogue with a recognized historic THEATER expert in this process.

In my letter to the Mayor, I clearly state that:

” … I implore you as a matter of responsible stewardship, to include an experienced, knowledgeable historic preservation expert with specific expertise in theater preservation, on the BDC panel charged with deciding the Senator’s future.

The BDC has already reached out to the League of Historic American Theaters, located in Baltimore, to supply written input. It is imperative that such an expert physically sits on the commission and has the opportunity to give on-going guidance and consultation as part of the deliberations.”

We thank Karen Colizzi Noonan for her courage and forthrightness in her stand on this issue.

Again, if the RFP evaluation is carried out properly, with appropriate expertise and transparency, in the end there should be little reason for argument about the decision.


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