Newark’s Performing Arts Center – No Cure For Urban Blight

In the mid-90s, Newark built a shiney new performing arts center in the middle of its blighted downtown with the hope of rejuvenating the area. Many cities have tried this. Terry Teachout reports after a visit this week that while the hall is a great place to attend performances, it seems to have done little to kick-start downtown. “Lincoln Center has its crippling flaws, God knows, but it did succeed in transforming New York’s Upper West Side almost beyond recognition. As of today, I’m still skeptical that NJPAC will do much more than make it possible for suburban New Jerseyites to see Miss Saigon without having to drive all the way into Manhattan. Somehow I doubt that’s what its founders had in mind.”