Venice: Pavilion as Proposed Site for Ambitious Arts Mecca

Kathleen Kelleher's cover story about the Venice Arts Mecca group which wants to take over the Venice Pavilion ("Creative Touch," Feb. 26) notes that boardwalk merchants want the city to raze the Pavilion. They claim that it is an eyesore and attracts drug and gang activity. It needs to be said that many residents feel the same.

The Arts Mecca group serves young people ages 3 to 24 and is expanding its program to include theater, voice, dance and pops orchestra. The new classes are intended to entice more teen-agers to join. This sounds innocent enough--but as an experienced Venetian I have to say, "Please, not in the Pavilion!" The expanded program is sure to add to the noise of an environment already subjected to too much noise.

The Pavilion's ill effects on the nearby neighborhoods have already been discussed ad nauseam. But nothing creates greater feelings of helplessness, frustration and anger among the residents here than amplified sound emanating from there. Even when loudspeakers at the Pavilion are not turned directly toward the neighborhood, reverberating noise six or seven hundred feet away from it can sound as though it is coming from next door.

Calls to authorities . . . sometimes bring temporary improvements. But no real improvement will come to this area as long as the Pavilion stands.



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