Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, along with several other area movers and shakers, will be at Monona Terrace Wednesday evening for Downtown Madison, Inc.'s annual dinner. The featured keynote speaker will be Joe Pine, author of The Experience Economy: Work Is Theatre & Every Business a Stage.
According to the DMI website, Pine "maintains that as goods and services increasingly become commoditized, the many partners of downtown districts are now staging unique, memorable experiences as their economic offerings." Sure, any self-respecting urban area will feature some theatrics. Many people who visit great cities like San Francisco or Paris or Venice could describe their experiences as dramatic or even romantic.
But to what degree did those cities "stage" the experiences for which they're known? Aren't great cities the ones full of millions of little dramas that present themselves organically and without orchestration? Escalating mediocrity in parts of other cities (see Chicago, Minneapolis and even New York) is due to over staging. When visitors refer to Times Square or Michigan Avenue as "Disneyfied," they're not paying compliments.
Much of the fretting about our own downtown's future revolves around the increasing number of chain restaurants, which clearly hope to present theatrical experiences which have been focus grouped and researched to death in order to elicit specific reactions from customers, most often in the form of spending more cash. And while the local businesses that flourish in our city certainly understand staging and theatrics, they don't seem nearly as overt in their execution.
MAYOR CIESLEWICZ WEEKLY SCHEDULE
Monday, October 30, 2006
4:30 p.m. Board of Estimates, MMB 260
8:00 p.m. Fair Wisconsin rock show fundraiser, High Noon Saloon
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
10:00 a.m. Policy staff meeting 12:00 noon Lunch with Chris Fortune, Jeff Frehner, and Jeanne Hoffman 1:30 p.m. Blake George, Mark Olinger, Mario Mendoza, and Jeanne Hoffman 2:00 p.m. Agustin Olvera quarterly meeting 3:30 p.m. Mark Hanson quarterly meeting
Wednesday, November 1, 2006
9:30 a.m. Richard Munz and Enis Ragland 10:00 a.m. Staff meeting 2:30 p.m. Allied Staff Team meeting, MMB LL-120 5:00 p.m. Northside Planning Council quarterly meeting, Mayor's Conf. Room 6:30 p.m. Downtown Madison, Inc. annual dinner, Monona Terrace
Thursday, November 2, 2006
9:00 a.m. Downtown Public Infrastructure and Improvements (DPII) meeting, MMB LL-110 11:00 a.m. Jeanne Hoffman 12:00 noon Lunch with John McNamara 2:00 p.m. Steve Munz, Ald. Cindy Thomas, Capt. John Davenport, George Hank, and Enis Ragland 3:30 p.m. Jennifer Leavitt-Moy 5:00 p.m. Platinum Bicycle Planning Committee, MMB 120
Friday, November 3, 2006
11:00 a.m. Common Council leadership meeting 12:00 noon Walk the Square with the Mayor 1:00 p.m. Speak at Oakwood Village West grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for Heritage Oaks
Saturday, November 4, 2006
Sunday, November 5, 2006
6:00 p.m. Fit City Full Moon Walk, Cherokee Marsh