Omnia arts project once again proves all Naperville politics are local and that the safety of anonymity brings out the worst in people

First, I want to applaud Bev Frier on what appears to be a big vision for having the arts take a larger center stage here in Naperville.  Like so many, I’ve only heard minor details and innuendo regarding the project, yet at least we are talking about the future potential of the arts within our community.  Time will be the judge as to whether it is the best time, project and location for Naperville.

I’ve been reading with great interest and disgust the Naperville Potluck Blog postings regarding the political maneuvering and, perhaps, naivity swirling around us these days.  It’s at least nice that people are yelling and screaming about something other than land acquisition for new high schools.  At the same time, anonymous behavior on blogs, such as the potluck, tends to bring out the worst in people and ends up making our community look regretably stupid for the most part.  There is a clear difference between a healthy and respectful debate of our collectively shared community interests and divisive inflammation of the keyboard.  The answer is live face-to-face community dialogue and I do hope that it happens soon. 

If Bev Frier had a true political agenda which transcends her stated altruistic intent, then I believe she would have played her cards much differently.  Is it the best location and project?  I guess we’ll know in time.

The one lesson I believe we are reminded of as a community is if you intend for a visionary large-scale project to become a cherished community treasure for present and future generations to enjoy then you should build the vision with the involvement and participation of those you intend to influence in obtaining support from the very beginning.  

Any form of change is, by nature, sticky business and it can only succeed through an evolutionary inclusive process of participation and well-rounded perspective.  We must examine the full picture and people must have an opportunity to invest themselves in making the determination as to what is in the best interest of our community.  SM 


4 responses to “Omnia arts project once again proves all Naperville politics are local and that the safety of anonymity brings out the worst in people

  1. Just came across this posting. Since it was from last year, I thought I would include an update about the project. A lot of new information can be found on And the big news is that the city has approved a public open house on June 23rd, to provide the Omnia team a chance to present the concept to the city.

  2. Thanks for the update and link Sarah. I encourage everyone in Naperville to keep an open mind about the Omnia vision and give them careful consideration… they’ve done allot of work and while there have been some stumbles along the way they deserve fair consideration.

    Further, as a community we need to think through this project as a whole and visualize what it might mean to Naperville in terms of strengthening our community through the arts.

    There will be a variety of interests both in support and, I predict, strong opposition of this project. As you listen to the conversation, keep in mind that “all politics are local” and there are those with self-interest who will seek to destroy this idea regardless of its merits.

    My hope is these voices will have an opportunity to share their legitimate concerns, but ultimately not seek to drown out the voices of our community as a whole should its consensus be to support such a project. SM

  3. Stuart
    Thank you for your open mind about this great project. I support it because it think it is necessasry for the future growth of Naperville and the area. All would benefit.
    The difficulity is getting the word out to the community as a whole. The dissenters are already organized.

  4. Hi Stuart,

    Just this morning one of my team forwarded this to me. Refreshing to read your comments on Omnia.

    Would you like to meet with me for coffee?


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