image from City Arts
Back in December of last year, Greg Lundgren invited a small group of us to Vito's and laid out his vision for Walden Three, "...a documentary film hybrid conceived and developed by Vital 5 Productions." Basically, Walden Three will be a 10 year documentary film (production budget of $17+ million) which will center around a physical arts center, located directly across from SAM in the former Lusty Lady building. The project might get extended an additional ten years, multiple movies might get made -- it's Greg Lundgren so there are no rules.
"It all started with a very simple idea. We need an art center in Seattle. And not some anemic, struggling center that mirrored all of the non-profit models of the past or the DIY temporary spaces that sprout and disappear like mushrooms – we need an art center that is formidable, sustainable, long term and risk taking. Conversations were held, questions were asked, old models analyzed and new concepts considered. But some key points were defined – it should exist in the city center, so people of all walks can have access and engage with the center. It should not be a transient center, hopping from one condemned building to the next, it needed a secure and long term home. And it should, if possible, be defined as a for-profit business, not subjected to the fickle and dwindling budgets and grants allocated for the arts, but something dynamic and revenue generating, something that is self-sufficient and able to create experimental and progressive programming without the red tape and politics of public funding. We need an art center with a permanent home in downtown Seattle.Meetings continued, and the conversation shifted to our cultural capital – lists were made. We confirmed our instincts that indeed, the Pacific Northwest is brimming over with a creative class that remains largely untapped and unexploited. A huge resource, like timber or natural gas or gold, that needs to be identified, cultivated and exported to the world. Our cultural capital is outstanding – in every medium and capacity." - Greg Lundgren
Greg rallies the troops in this letter in the September issue of City Arts. I couldn't agree more with this part, "Walden Three asks one central question: Can a renaissance be manufactured? I believe it can and I believe Seattle holds all the key ingredients to activate such a golden era. We have the creative capital to fuel it, the proper space to house it, the technology to propagate it and surely someone in our midst with the audacity to finance it."