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by Inlander Staff

Green Means Go -- As you may have heard in recent days, the Spokane City Council approved the Davenport District Strategic Action Plan by unanimous vote. The decision was made at the Feb. 25 meeting, giving the green light to a plan six intensive months in the making. A collaborative effort of the Davenport Arts District, Downtown Spokane Partnership, Spokane Arts Commission, Downtown Spokane Business Improvement District and Washington Trust Bank, the Davenport District plan provides a working, long-range blueprint for the evolution of the Davenport neighborhood, which will eventually contain arts venues, living spaces, retail establishments, restaurants and studio space.

While the City's approval of the District Plan doesn't necessarily mean increased funding for the area, the document is an invaluable tool in writing grants. Specific changes, sidewalk benches and public art for instance, are clearly spelled out in advance.

"You can't apply for grants unless you know what you're doing, and what this plan does is provide a guiding framework for the district," says Karen Mobley, director of the Spokane Arts Commission and a member of the Davenport District Board. "I'm very optimistic. We've come a long way."

In fact, the District has already scheduled a fundraiser event, the Metal to Magic Auction, in which area artists take old scrap metal from the Steam Plant and create wondrous new objects. They'll be auctioned off Sept. 21, with proceeds going to benefit the Davenport District.

Seeking Fellowship -- We'll all have to wait until next winter to see the next installment of Lord of the Rings, which promises even more action and plenty of the creepy Gollum. In the meantime, there will be no shortage of excuses for seeing The Fellowship of the Ring a few more times. Not only is it up for a zillion Academy Awards -- with fairly good chances at winning many of them -- but on the weekend before Hollywood's big self-love fest, Sir Ian McKellen (Gandalf himself) will be hosting Saturday Night Live. And then, right around that time, word is that theaters will start showing a preview for The Two Towers, attached to the end of the first film. You might want to wait a few weeks before heading out the door to catch yet another screening.

The Aliens are Landing -- If you were downtown last week, you may have noticed some highly suspicious extra-terrestrial activity in the area of Post and Main streets. But don't worry about having to learn how to breathe on Mars just yet -- E.T. was merely the unloading of the 10,000-square-foot Aliens Exhibit, which opens in the old Art at Work space on March 16, courtesy of the Pacific Science Center.

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