From the Morning Memo:

The mayor of Rochester believes the artistic director for a local theater company owes her an apology. Mayor Lovely Warren says Geva Theatre’s Mark Cuddy used demeaning language in addressing comments she had made in the past.

The situation surrounds Geva’s calls to further study plans to build a new performing arts center in the city. Cuddy said the mayor wants the center because she is intent on branding Rochester as a City of the Arts.

“She is quoted as saying, ‘Syracuse is a college sports town, Buffalo has pro teams, we are the City of the Arts and we have to have a venue that gives us that title.’ We find that thinking to be naive at best,” he said during a Monday press conference.

Warren said she wouldn’t address Cuddy’s comments which the administration characterized as petty politics. Furthermore, the mayor said in this day and age, a man calling a woman “naive” is not acceptable.

“I appreciate that we have great arts organization and many of those and many of those arts organizations – including Geva taking advantage of public dollars and public infrastructure and public support – and so when you’re not coming and not being clear about what you benefit from it, I think that that is wrong and I think to demean someone in the way that he demeaned me as a woman in this community, he owes the women and the young girls in this community an apology,” she said.

Cuddy rejected the notion he was demeaning Warren and insisted he did not call the mayor “naive.”

“We are sorry that the mayor took it that way,” he said. “We stand by our statement that we find building a 3,000-seat theater on Parcel 5 to be the thing that makes us the City of the Arts to be flawed. We are happy to join the City’s administration in a new discussion about how best to support our thriving arts & cultural community.”

The city plans on moving forward with the $130 million theater project early next year.