Ten years ago, residents of lower Manhattan were given a chance to tell planners what should be rebuilt in our neighborhood after Sept. 11, 2001. I made one suggestion: visit Chicago and the Old Town School of Folk Music.
Old Town is probably my favorite institution in the world. It is a compelling place to perform music, and it is a role model for creating meaningful, community-oriented programming in an urban setting. More than a music school, it is an institution rooted in a neighborhood, serving an entire city, and known the world over. When we sat down to begin work on the Uni, the first thing I wrote on the whiteboard was “Old Town.”
Let me count some of the ways: