“The Great Blue Nile Costume Bust of 2011” appears to have a happy ending.
I got a call today from Scott Hutcheson, the mayor’s advisor for the cultural economy, who apologized for Sunday’s shutdown, attributing it to a comedy of errors and misinformation by the various agencies involved. He said the city is committed to supporting grassroots markets like the Blue Nile Costume Bazaar and the Piety Street Market. To that end, his office is working to streamline the permitting process so that everyone understands it, and to make it accessible (and affordable) for all types of events.
The ultimate goal is to set up a single online portal for all elements of special events permits. This would serve as a one-stop clearinghouse instead of requiring applicants to navigate through multiple agencies. That could take a few weeks, but it’s already in motion. The Blue Nile shutdown put the overhaul on the front-burner, so I think reform is actually on the way. That’s good news for everyone involved.
Piety Street Market is already moving forward with our own permitting process, which Scott assured me can be in place by our next scheduled date of Sunday, March 20. I’ll be posting more details about that market soon. Meanwhile, enjoy Mardi Gras!
I add an “-ish” to McCree’s assessment because the damage has been done. In the handmade goods economy, most profit – if any exists – is in volume, not the individual sale. The sellers involved missed one of the few opportunities they had in the year to sell in quantity, including their more outlandish creations. But the city’s taking steps in the right direction; that’s progress.