It appears some progress is being made in the Grandin Theatre disagreement that has resulted in some harsh feelings, threats of a boycott, at least one demonstration (with pickets) and a lot of ill will.
Today, Tony Stavola, who had been on the Grandin Theatre Foundation board for years, left and has returned, sent this note to me (Tony's a physician and not a writer, so I've cleaned it up a bit):
"The executive committee [of the Grandin Theatre], at the suggestion of some of us, is going to discuss having a forum of some type with some of those who have been supporters but also expressed concern--such as yourself. More on that to come soon, I hope. The idea would be to have the chance to have a discussion focusing on what the future should be for us. This community only loses if we do not strive to make sure the Grandin continues to be sucessful now and in the future."
It was the second positive step of the day: the first being that fired former General Manager Jason Garrett went to the theater and picked up his belongings. There had been some question about whether he would be allowed to do that.
There has been considerable intensive discussion going on--apparently on both sides of the issue, and I know that some are looking into alternatives to the Grandin and others are strongly supporting some kind of boycott. Among the sticking points for those with a bone to pick with the Grandin has been a lack of dialogue with the board as a whole and the failure to recognize that this group even exists. The perceived withholding of Jason Garnett's personal gear (virtually all of it loaned to the Grandin to help make it better in one way or another) has been a special sore spot for many, as well.
Roanoke Writers is the blog of the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference, held the fourth Friday and Saturday of each January at Hollins University. This blog will keep you updated as we put together details of the 2011 conference. Send your news items to us at email@example.com and we'll make them part of the blog.