Up & Coming Weekly

August 29, 2017

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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4 UCW AUGUST 30 - SEPTEMBER 5, 2017 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM PUBLISHER'S PEN STAFF PUBLISHER Bill Bowman Bill@upandcomingweekly.com ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER/EDITOR Stephanie Crider editor@upandcomingweekly.com ASSISTANT EDITOR Leslie Pyo leslie@upandcomingweekly.com SENIOR REPORTER Jeff Thompson news@upandcomingweekly.com SENIOR SPORTS EDITOR Earl Vaughan Jr. GRAPHIC DESIGNER Elizabeth Long art@upandcomingweekly.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS D.G. Martin, Pitt Dickey, Margaret Dickson, John Hood, Erinn Crider, Jim Jones, Shanessa Fenner, Paul Hall SALES ADMINISTRATOR/ DISTRIBUTION MANAGER Laurel Handforth laurel@upandcomingweekly.com ACCOUNTING Paulette Naylor accounting@upandcomingweekly.com MARKETING/SALES Linda McAlister Brown linda@upandcomingweekly.com ––––––––––– Up & Coming Weekly www.upandcomingweekly.com 208 Rowan Street P.O. Box 53461 Fayetteville, NC 28305 PHONE: (910) 484-6200 FAX: (910) 484-9218 Up & Coming Weekly is a "Quality of Life" publica- tion with local features, news and information on what's happening in and around the Fayetteville/ Cumberland County community. Up & Coming Weekly is published weekly on Wednesdays. Up & Coming Weekly welcomes manu- scripts, photographs and artwork for publication con- sideration, but assumes no responsibility for them. We cannot accept responsibility for the return of unsolic- ited manuscripts or material. Opinions expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. The publisher reserves the right to edit or reject copy submitted for publication. Up & Coming Weekly is free of charge and distributed at indoor and outdoor locations throughout Fayetteville, Fort Bragg, Pope Air Force Base, Hope Mills and Spring Lake. Readers are limited to one copy per person. ©2007 by F&B Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of editorial or advertisements without permission is strictly prohibited. Cover art designed with various elements from: vecteezy.com and freepik.com. Photo for front courtesy of Alzheimer's Association - Southeast Tennessee Mark Regensburger Has a Plan for Fayetteville by LAUREN VANDERVEEN Publisher's note: In this edition of Up & Coming Weekly, we introduce Mark Regensburger, the first president and CEO of the new Cool Springs Downtown District in downtown Fayetteville. We welcome him to this new position and look forward to supporting the CSDD and the merchants, businesses and organizations in downtown Fayetteville. eir success is everyone's success. We want our readers to know that Up & Coming Weekly, your community newspaper, intends to be downtown Fayetteville's No. 1 champion. As an established and trusted media source, we will carry downtown Fayetteville's quality-of-life story to Fort Bragg and to all corners of Cumberland County. Lauren Vanderveen, a wonderful new contributing writer for our publication, will help cover these stories. Enjoy meet- ing Mr. Regensburger, and thank you for reading Up & Coming Weekly. An arts and entertainment district is essential to any city that yearns for a defined personality. A city needs a space that screams: is is our soul, this is who we are! Some areas are lucky enough to have population sizes that support growth in their art districts, like in New York City or Los Angeles. Some even host prestigious events such as the Toronto International Film Festival or SXSW in Austin. But more than just money and prestige allows an arts district to thrive. First, it needs a leader. Fayetteville now has one in Mark Re- gensburger. In July, he was appointed the first president and CEO of the nonprofit organization Cool Springs Downtown District Inc., an official rebranding strat- egy for downtown. It all began with a suggestion to the Arts Council that Fayetteville distinguishes itself with a performing arts center. After many months of research and planning by the Arts Council and a 200-member advisory committee, the Arts Council recom- mended that first establishing a prominent arts and entertainment district would be a natural springboard for a performing arts center in the area. e Arts and Entertainment District report from August of last year noted, "ere is the perception that the City of Fayetteville has not kept pace with other urban areas within the state of North Caro- lina. Fayetteville was late in recognizing that the role of placemaking is key to creat- ing the kind of vibrant urban life that will attract and retain the creative workforce which, in turn, will attract and retain the creative businesses that are the founda- tions of the modern economy." For Regensburger, one of his main goals is to unify the various organizations in the area for future collaborations. e Airborne Museum Foundation currently does Airborne Day and other military-re- lated events. A group from Capitol Encore Academy is working on the art park located behind the academy. e Arts Council provides 4th Friday and other events to the entire county. "I see all these organizations doing amazing things by themselves," Regens- burger said. "But the Cool Springs Down- town District is trying to bring more people together to make their efforts greater than the sum of their parts." According to Regensburger, CSDD will be looking into several avenues to establish downtown as an arts and entertainment district. is includes increasing public art installations and bringing better quality music performances to the area. Regens- burger also hopes to widen downtown's umbrella to envelop the thousands of new military families that move to Fayetteville each year. "e district is more than just Hay Street. I don't want downtown to be just a down- town thing. I want everybody to feel like they own it," said Regensburger. CSDD will also, according to Regens- burger, investigate city ordinances and licensing requirements to improve the district's regulatory environment. An- other recommendation of the Arts and Entertainment District report was that "the wayfinding system in the central core should be adapted, perhaps using artists as designers, to clearly distinguish the District." ere are also recommendations to eventually have a new urban skateboard park and new artist housing, along with a performing arts center. Regensburger himself has an extensive history with Fayetteville, the military and the arts. After receiving his degree in music education from Alma College, he decided to join the United States Army as a musician in 1985. He played clarinet in the Army's band, where he was able to parlay extensive experience in event management. "I first came to Fort Bragg in 1999. My midlife crisis was I volunteered to jump out of airplanes," Regensburger joked. "My tour in Afghanistan was a (literal) tour in Afghanistan. We went around and played for the troops. To see what the arts can do to help people find their heart again is a huge part of what this new job is for me." Regensburger went on to get his mas- ter's in business administration from the Lake Forest Graduate School in Illinois before he started working as the execu- tive director and COO of the Saginaw Baw Symphony Orchestra in Michigan. "It was a wonderful opportunity and really got my feet into being a nonprofit manager," Regensburger said. He was so efficient, in fact, that he admits to having planned himself out of his job. "We did some strategic planning and decided that the board would take a more active role in the leadership of it and that we would hire specialty people in marketing, finance and fundraising," Regensburger said. "Mark's palpable enthusiasm, knowl- edge of Fayetteville, business training and arts background will drive the vision of an Arts and Entertainment District for our entire, inclusive community," said Eric Lindstrom, CSDD Inc. Board chair, in a press release. For the past seven years, following his retirement from the Army, Regensburger has taught business administration at Fayetteville Technical Community College. He said he developed a growing urge to help the community in an even more sig- nificant way. After traveling for an average of 100 days per year and after experiencing many different cities, Regensburger and his wife chose Fayetteville as their place to call home. Now the city of Fayetteville has chosen him to lead downtown into a brighter future. "e arts and entertainment district is supposed to be walkable, but also a combination of urban space and green space. It's supposed to be a combination of historic and contemporary, of working and celebrating," Regensburger said. "So, I believe in this. I wouldn't have done this job just for a job. To me, this really feels like a calling." LAUREN VANDERVEEN, Contributing Writer. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomingweekly.com. (910) 484-6200. Mark Regensburger, first president and CEO of Cool Springs Downtown District Inc., wants to unify local organizations for future collaborations.

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