The Elk River Area Arts Alliance deserves applause for getting downtown restaurants on board for the 2011 installment of ArtSoup.
The organization made a judgment call to waive the fees for these local vendors to sell food at the every-other-year event, and promised to limit those serving to downtown businesses alone.
It has always been a sore spot for some to see some downtown businesses closed on the day of this fine community arts festival, but hopefully this gesture will set a new tradition of involvement. It will be nice once the economy picks up for these businesses to continue their involvement and pay for their opportunity to be at the event visited by thousands.
The Elk River Area Arts Alliance’s decision will do more than stimulate the downtown economy for the day.
It will play out positively in the months and years to come. Not only will Elk River residents be more likely to eat and shop downtown, the Arts Alliance is building brand identity as a community. — Jim Boyle, editor