The Marion Cultural Corridor project is a collaboration between the Marion Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) and Downtown Marion Inc. The purpose of the project is expressed in the introductory document shared with the community in September 2016.
The historic Downtown Marion area will be the cultural hub of the community where residents and visitors gather to experience a truly local environment of shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues while creating a sense of place that the community uses as a foundation for feelings of pride and self-worth. That sense of pride and place, while triggered by a revitalized downtown, will not be restricted to the downtown, but will be applied to the entire city and county. For that reason, we will use the term “cultural corridor” to describe the area bounded on the east by the Harding Home and the west by Union Station. The distance north and south of that line should be fluid, dictated by the activities of local businesses.
Cultural corridor initiatives have been successfully achieved throughout the U.S. and internationally. While those projects focused on the cultural and performing arts in development planning, the Marion Cultural Corridor speaks to the broader definition of the term. This broader definition, defined by Merriam Webster’s dictionary as, “the integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon the capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations,” is the glue that holds us together and requires a physical presence best achieved in a historic downtown area.