As the city considers different ideas for the proposed “enhancement” of downtown (see the 2014 Downtown Enhancement Plan at avl.mx/0gw), please don’t throw buskers under the bus.
Many of Asheville’s creative community — not only musicians but artists of all kinds — depend on street performance as part of their livelihood. Visitors and locals experience the street scene as charming and vibrant, an essential part of the village atmosphere that people want to slow down for a minute to enjoy.
As the city grows and changes, this is Asheville’s chance to declare this a community that truly supports and cherishes its artists. When the rising cost of living equals increased difficulty making ends meet for those in the arts, busking is one accessible option. Overregulation is unnecessary and works against creating a thriving arts economy.
When creating or changing any ordinance that revolves around the “enhancement” of downtown, listening to the needs of the creative community, rather than dictating to them, will create a truly enhanced shared space.
Let street entertainers do what they do best without forcing undue regulation.
Sumer Grace and Amy Hamilton