Third Places as Alternative Spaces of Cultural Production and Consumption in the Neoliberal Creative City
Nicolaides, Jordan Stephen
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Amidst the rapid expansion and normalized absorption of neoliberal creative city and cultural planning policy scripts in many cities of the global North, alternative sites of grassroots cultural production and consumption are often overshadowed in size, policy attention, municipal investment, and print media coverage by spectacular cultural flagship buildings and their programming. Cultural flagships absorb significant public money in an effort to foster local pride and function as infrastructural lynchpins in economic development and urban revitalization plans, but high ticket and rental costs and a focus on professional performance limits access and usage. In response to social exclusions enacted by market-oriented pay-to-play restrictions, this thesis, interested in Mahtay Caf and the mid-sized city of St. Catharines, Ontario, argues that in small- and mid-sized Canadian cities multi-purpose third places are valuable alternative socio-cultural and spatial resources that are under-appreciated in municipal cultural governance.