"The Official Portrait of Miss InDiana"

"The Official Portrait of Miss InDiana"
aka "Miss Victory"

Monday, August 11, 2008

Arts Council ignores plight of taxpayers and makes plea for funding

Below is the statement issued today by the arts council with our comments inserted in bold.

2009 City Arts Funding Update

Mayor Ballard has proposed an allocation for arts funding of $1 million in the 2009 budget for the City of Indianapolis. This is a $543,500 reduction from the current 2008 city arts appropriation and represents a 35 percent reduction.

My property tax bill tripled. My tax bill is directly tied to local government spending. So to the public go huge tax increases, yet publicly funded arts is not supposed to tighten their belt too?

City funding supports arts outreach and education programs and many other community activities to 75 different arts organizations.

Some of these organizations, like the Childrens' Museum are flush with cash already! Check them out.

Reductions in 2009 funding will directly affect, reduce, and potentially eliminate the number of arts programs for the community and will reduce the number of citizens reached with the arts - including those underserved by other programs.

Did you know that there are hundreds of free art events in the city each year that are privately, not publicly funded? Gallery openings happen all over the city. Usually you can get a decent glass of wine and food while you are there. A recent opening at the Harrison Center not only served wine, but had a virtual buffet of more than 20 menu items. Funny how these things get done without forced taxation. The Harrison Center is located on a main bus route too!

While we understand the critical financial issues the city is facing, we are disappointed that the arts will face substantial cuts, more than other areas supported by the city.

We have people literally dying in the streets. Unfortunately, in spite of the pleas, public funded art is not reducing crime or increasing our high school graduation rates. We need to set priorities. And last we checked on Maslow's hierarchy of human needs, the "safety needs" are very low on the pyramid.

Public investment in the arts is critical to continuing not only the education and outreach programs supported with this funding, but also in leveraging private funding, generating economic activity and tourism, attracting and retaining younger people to our community, and providing a strong message that the arts are an important part of our city.

It can also be argued that withdrawing public funding can also be used to leverage private funding. I recently volunteered as much as 40 hours per month to help the arts in Indy only because funding was cut. I don't see a single person working on the public dime in the arts taking me up on the donation either. Look at the resource they waste!

The Arts Council of Indianapolis is supportive of our elected officials' efforts to increase public safety and manage the city's financial challenges. However, with the discussion of the possible elimination of city arts funding, we are concerned and opposed to the elimination of public support of the arts for the future of our city. We will work to continue the city's critical investment in the arts.

There is so much to do in the arts that is privately funded, a person could not do it all...ever! And the good news is that much of it is free for the taking! And further, there are several good arts websites to direct you where to go for the fun if you can't figure it out by reading INTAKE or NUVO.

Most events that charge admission will give you a free ticket if you volunteer. Don't believe me? Just ask.

What next? Today's announcement is the starting point of the budget process. We will be sending communications to all of our elected officials and will let you know the dates and times of all budget hearings.

We predicted the arts elites would not go out without a lot of tears.

Over the next six weeks of the 2009 budget process, we will demonstrate how critical the arts are to the city and the importance of the city's support through budget presentations, meetings with the administration and elected officials, public hearings, and other information.

And we'll support through empirical common sense demonstrations that the arts will continue to go on and money will flow through voluntary channels rather than forced public channels. Not only that, but there will not be the censorship placed on the arts that happen through public money, as the elites in charge of our money often decide what is (and is not) good art for us.

We will also want some accountability as to how much of our money (and this includes the C.I.B.'s money) is used on fancy dinners, sports stadium access, and all the other perks enjoyed by our arts admins on the public dime.

Now more than ever, your voice must be heard. To get the latest updates, find out more information, and how you can help, go to www.indyarts.org/whattheartsmean.

It should be pointed out that not one of these individuals who professes such love and passion for the arts in Indianapolis has volunteered to give anything to the arts. Not one hour or one dime. While our taxpayers' advocate volunteered 40 hours a month. Who really cares and who doesn't?

And in closing, the taxpayers of Indianapolis would like to thank those in the arts for their concerns over the struggle of our citizens to remain safe and make ends meet. We can tell how much you feel our very real pain as we struggle to buy gas, pay our tax increases, and keep our homes from the sheriff's sale. The compassion from the arts for the guy struggling to pay the tax bills knows no bounds.

14 comments:

Pragmatic Community Investor said...

Your comments are disingenuous at best, and rife with greed and misunderstanding at worst.

As an individual that gave nine years, countless meetings and enormous amounts of successful fundraising expertise allying the arts community, I can safely say that you don't understand the issues, only the thickness of your wallet. Communities are built on many things, including public safety, well-paved streets, and cohesive infrastructure. They're also built on community participation at all income levels, in the arts.

Municipal contributions to arts are extremely important, just as a vibrant business climate is. Organizations like the Children's Museum and the Art Museum are very well endowed and funded. They don't need much money- but others do. Great cities have municipal contributions to the arts because it increases the quality of life for all, in every age and income category.

It means that there are a few dollars out of the pockets of taxpayers as an expense, and usually just a tiny fraction of the overall monetary contributions made towards program improvements. You can afford it, and you'll get a very good return for the dollars spent-- just like the jobs that the Indianapolis Convention Center have brought to town. Think of it as an investment.

Anonymous said...

What don't you understand about some people are losing their homes due to excessive taxation?

How is that missing you?

HOOSIERS FOR FAIR TAX said...

Ballard said he was not going to eliminate the arts budget. He said he is cutting it. EVERYONE has to cut their budgets right now. Why should the arts be any different?

Lisa said...

The arts shouldn't be any different. That's the point - the rhetoric up to last night (and on this site) has been to cut funding for the arts to zero in three years, which is what prompted me and others to speak out. Mayor Ballard sent a message that he didn't want to see that happen. He understands that city investment in arts education and programming inspires additional private investment in the arts, which in turn creates economic benefits.

HOOSIERS FOR FAIR TAX said...

The mayor didn't say he wanted to cut funding to zero. That is the position of this blog.

Some of the folks in the arts think it is just fine to put a gun to one person's head who has money. Take their money from them. Then give it to another person that they think is more worthy to have that money.

That is in effect what those in the arts suggest we as a society do. And quite frankly, it is not what our founding fathers intended.

For proof: Read the U.S. Constitution. But then, I'm sure you, like most Americans, have no idea what it says. Thus, your view that it is right to force one person (at the threat of gunpoint) to pay for another.

Anonymous said...

The public is going to demand every last receipt the arts elites expense to the public.

Christopher said...

Maybe we should just live in a police state. That would cut down on crime and the need for additional services thus reducing property taxes. Sounds fun! And there are so many other fallacies on this blog that I've grown weary of reading it.

I encourage everyone to do their own research and look at the facts objectively. Once you do the public benefit becomes pretty clear.

Pete Boggs said...

Government's purpose is protection of the people; not providing us with charades posed as job creation, stage plays "for" public consumption or SUBJECTIVE interpretations of "art."

Vigilantism (stealing the very life & time that's invested by taxpayers to produce their incomes & thereby sustain themselves) in the name of "art" is wrong.

It's called the Constitution (the law), visit the over-budgeted buggy whip known as the central library & "read more about it."

CUT THE CRAP.

Anonymous said...

Lisa Sirkin who comments frequently here is one of those that lives off taxpayer funding. Check out her bio:

"I have a varied and extensive background in communications and public relations. My 15+ years of experience in the tourism, arts and corporate landscape was honed through work for big-name Indianapolis-area firms but I also have worked directly for not-for-profit and government organizations, including The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Fit City Indianapolis, and the Office of the Governor, where I served as Deputy Press Secretary under Gov. Joe Kernan."

It is no surprise that Lisa is an outspoken critic of the taxpayer holding on to what little wealth they have left after the government takes its share off the top.

I wonder how many communication projects Lisa has worked on that were not government funded contracts?

Lisa? Care to comment?

HOOSIERS FOR FAIR TAX said...

Lisa Sirkin who comments frequently here is one of those that lives off taxpayer funding. Checked out her bio:

"I have a varied and extensive background in communications and public relations. My 15+ years of experience in the tourism, arts and corporate landscape was honed through work for big-name Indianapolis-area firms but I also have worked directly for not-for-profit and government organizations, including The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Fit City Indianapolis, and the Office of the Governor, where I served as Deputy Press Secretary under Gov. Joe Kernan."

It is no surprise that Lisa is an outspoken critic of the taxpayer holding on to what little wealth they have left after the government takes its share off the top. Lisa personally benefits from your tax contributions.

I wonder how many communication projects Lisa has worked on that were not government funded contracts?

Lisa? Care to comment?

Anonymous said...

Lisa Sirkin, advocate for public funding of arts and the support of the arts council receives money from all kinds of publicly funded contracts.

Here is a list of Current and Previous Work from her website:

2001 World Police and Fire Games
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
Clarian North Medical Center
Coburn Place
Community Health Network
Crossroads of America Council, Boy Scouts of America
Eiteljorg Museum
Element Three
Eli Lilly and Company (US Affiliate)
FitCity Indianapolis
Hamilton County Convention and Visitors Bureau
The Health Foundation of Greater Indianapolis
Historic Meridian Park Neighborhood
Immigrant Welcome Center
Impact 100 Greater Indianapolis
Indiana AIDS Fund
Indiana High School Athletic Association
Indiana Historical Society
Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis
Indianapolis Cultural Development Initiative
Innovative
Lenex Steel
Premier Properties
Putnam County Museum
Remington-Wolcott
Roche Diagnostics
State of Indiana
That’s Good HR
Twenty-first Century Scholars Program
White River State Park

No wonder she supports public funding because she lives off tax dollars!

Christopher said...

Lisa Sirkin you should be ashamed! Working for such deplorable and sickening industries like health care, education and philanthropy.

I don't know you but I'm quite certain I would never like to be friends with someone who cavorts with such despicable characters.

AHHH!!! This blog is like a train wreck! I want to stop looking but I just can't avert my eyes.

Anonymous said...

Yes Lisa! Those industries are funded by money forced from those filthy peasant taxpayer serfs! They do not deserve to keep their money. You deserve it!

Christina said...

Elites like Lisa and others who earn a living from government contracts, due to how much better they are than others, deserve their pay to be cut first from the top of the taxpayers income.