Observing from beyond the solar system, a cultural outsider looks in.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Kim Clark Show at The Senator Theatre

My title is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but last week's community meeting at The Senator Theatre and subsequent Baltimore Sun articles have revealed Kim Clark of the BDC to be an interesting, complex public figure with nuanced opinions and a flexible, changeable mind. If one were being unkind, one might say flip-flopper.

Now that I and others have videos and audio of the highlights of the meeting put together, let's examine the many conflicting opinions of that multi-faceted personality known as Kim Clark.

First of all, if you only have time to watch one video of the meeting, let it be this one from Arlette Productions. This highlights the discussion about the city's CHAP designation, which Kim Clark called "ill-timed" and "unnecessary," saying she had "in other people's face discussions" about it. I would have thought you only have "in other people's face discussions" if something is really wrong with what's happening.

But Clark softened her view about CHAP after the meeting, according to the Baltimore Sun.

Wednesday, both Clarke and state Sen. Joan Carter Conway, who called the meeting, questioned the timing and wisdom of the commission's action. But Friday, Clarke sounded less concerned: "I don't think it's as much of a roadblock as some people portray it to be."

Clark has changed her position about the likelihood of the theatre being sold at auction, too. In the meeting, she said she thought it unlikely that anyone would bid a million dollars for the theatre at auction, something she was strongly questioned on, given the extraordinary value and unique nature of The Senator.

After the meeting, she said that at least two parties with the necessary resources are interested.

Clark said she has heard from at least two prospective bidders -- one from Maryland, one from outside the state -- with the financial wherewithal to pay at least the minimum price for the theater. Plus, she said: "I'm hearing from other parties that they have been contacted. There seems to be definite interest out there."

OK, now to be fair, it may be there has been sudden interest since word of the auction got out that is surprising to Kim Clark, though not at all surprising to those of us who know and love The Senator Theatre.

But still, given that she does seem to change her mind a lot, can we really take her seriously when, confronted with the fact that her comments in a Daily Record article a couple of months ago made it seem that someone in city hall may have a personal grudge against Senator owner Tom Kiefaber, she claimed to have been misquoted? Her comments in the Daily Record set off a negative slew of nasty defamation of Tom Kiefaber that derailed the focus on The Senator from finding an appropriate solution to its future, by the way. Here you can (barely) hear her denying that she ever made those comments (she was off-mic for the denial). The comment she responds to with her denial can be found starting at about 4 minutes into this video:

What a fascinating character she is. Complex is the word, I believe.

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