City Opens Its Wallet . . . Rochester Seeks to Expand Support for RIJF
January 28, 2007
If you didn't catch it, the Saturday Democrat & Chronicle carried a story on the front page that Mayor Duffy's administration had requested $250,000 from the City Council to fund the city's role in the 2007 Rochester International Jazz Festival, which has been growing exponentially. To get an idea of the scope of this request you might recall that the city's spending on the 2006 RIJF was a mere $35,000 and almost non-existent (other than the increased cost for police and other vital services) in the preceding years.
The crowds at the RIJF have grown from a mere 15,000 for the first festival in 2002 to a staggering 80,000 last year. It is quickly becoming a player in the international jazz festival scene. The extra money is needed, the city says, to help John Nugent and the festival expand the festival beyond its footprint in the East End. Where these expansions may go is intriguing. The city's Commissioner of Recreation and Youth Services Charles Reaves is quoted in the article by Jeff Spevak, saying that "I know they're talking about High Falls. I know we're gonna have something in Corn Hill." I remember hearing during the 2006 RIJF that there would be additional venues for free shows and local talent. I just hope that—if they're talking about the only jazz venue I know in Corn Hill, Clarissa Room—the travails of that establishment have been resolved by June. The Council will begin considering the request at a committee meeting on February 8th. Hope they recognize the potential that this festival has for the city (and the millions it brings into the city each year) and approves the request.