Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Arts Advocacy Update XI

Just as a reminder, if you visit the website for Americans for the Arts, you can receive the same weekly email blast I receive, from which the weekly Arts Advocacy Update is derived.

City may get arts district
Grand Rapids Press (MI), 8/9/2007
"A new [Michigan] state law that encourages redevelopment of neighborhood commercial corridors could help the city [of Holland] transform Columbia Avenue, between 15th and 24th streets, into an arts and cultural district."
Nine blocks in the middle of Grand Rapids devoted to the arts. Makes me want to yell, "Hey, Zach Mannheimer, have you checked out Michigan?"

Arts Groups Await Funding Impact as `Earmarking' Is Scrutinized
Bloomberg News, 8/9/2007
"President George W. Bush and some members of Congress argue that earmarks, which have been at the center of recent bribery scandals, should be eliminated. At a time when corporate support for the arts has been steadily shrinking, arts group are defending earmarks as an important, if a bit unseemly, way to get much-needed funding. Legislators steered more than $180 million to cultural organizations through earmarks in federal spending bills in 2005, according to Americans for the Arts, a Washington-based advocacy group."
Wow. Didn't know this. I'm all for eliminating government waste, but count me in when it comes to scamming the government coffers in the interest of the arts. Oh, well, we all have to tighten our belts if we want better government, right? Or at least a pro-American Democrat in the White House, instead of an anti-American liar and election-stealer.

BacPac hopes to influence public funding for arts and culture
Birmingham News (AL), 0/12/2007
"Efforts to convince public servants that the symphony, the ballet and the theater are as vital to a community's future as new streets and sewers can be frustrating to futile for arts marketers. That's where the Birmingham Arts and Culture Political Action Committee comes in. BacPac has been brewing for a few months, but was officially launched last week when a letter from organizers Jim Sokol and Rae Trimmier was sent to members of the cultural community. Like most political action committees, BacPac is focused on a single cause - in this case, to direct public officials' attention to the importance of arts and culture."
Seems to me that Off-Off-Broadway, among other things, could benefit from this kind of arrangement.

Mayor wants $700,000 to support arts in city
Indianapolis Star (IN), 8/3/2007
In Indianapolis, "[c]ity officials have begun to scrutinize the proposed budget for 2008, and perhaps no other subject will be caught in the cross hairs of debate more than funding for the arts. Roughly 1 percent of city expenditures has been dedicated to a Support for the Arts fund since 2004. . . . But in an eight-hour budget workshop earlier this week, some City Council members called for an end to the arts fund. . . . Brainard is asking for $700,000 for the 2008 budget, roughly 1 percent of the total of Carmel's $56 million general fund budget."
More idiocy from the heartland. Charming.

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