"The Official Portrait of Miss InDiana"

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

Friday, August 8, 2008

Melyssa makes offer to donate 40 hours per month to the city

Over at Save Indy Arts, there are 1000 signatures from those in arts circles who want the city to borrow money at interest each year to continue funding the arts council.

They want us to borrow this money when we are already struggling to make the minimum payments on all the debt from previous administrations. The city's credit cards are maxed, our mortgages are in jeapordy, and they want us to buy art.

I believe so strongly that there are solutions to advance the arts in Indianapolis without funding that I am willing to volunteer 40 hours per month (evenings and weekends) to our city to help develop and implement these solutions.

To those 1000 individuals who feel so passionate (and rightfully so) about the preservation of the arts in Indy, what will YOU give to your city for the arts?

--Melyssa for HFFT


Lisa said...


I admire your passion and dedication to the city of Indianapolis. But please get this one fact straight. City arts funding does not fund the purchase of art nor the salaries of artists or administrators. It is not used for perks, vacation time, etc. etc.

City arts funding IS used by 75arts and cultural organizations to provide free arts programs, free admission and arts education for at-risk youth, senior citizens and those who could not otherwise afford to experience the arts.

It also has to be matched by other funds in order to be allocated.

If we can focus on the real use of the funding in question, perhaps we can better encourage others to participate in ways to match city funding and increase the level and amount of arts programming to everyone in Indianapolis.

melyssa said...

Our city's arts employees and the benefits associated with their jobs are not paid by the taxpayers?

Do they work these jobs as unpaid volunteers? If so, my apologies.

Anonymous said...

If each person behind those 1000 signatures gave the city $1500, it would fund the arts budget.

Melyssa is willing to volunteer the equivalent in time each month.

How about it?

Anonymous said...

Good for you but they should provide an accounting of just how the city arts funding as been spent- what are the results of some of the programs etc.

indyernie said...

As long as those involved in the arts continue to desecrate memorials to fallen veterans I will never promote or encourage others to promote the Arts in Indianapolis.
On the Soldiers and Sailors Monument (the circle for those of you under 20yrs old) is a bench that is made like a twisted ribbon. It’s bronze and it doesn’t complement the Memorial in any way. The city’s homeless enjoy it, but it is out of place on the circle.
On Market Street East bound on the outer sidewalk of the circle is a similar art item. It looks like an owl if you turn your head just right and squint real hard, again out of place on the circle.
Plans are underway to position two sculptures at the main entrance to the Central Library. “Thin Man” is a bronze man who looks like a very tall alien the other is “Little Bird” this one looks like a large hemorrhoid cushion with a tiny little bird resting on it. Both of these pieces of “Art” will be visible to anyone leaving the Indiana War Memorial through the north doors. Imagine if you can leaving the War Memorial and looking across the plaza past the flags in the park. Look past the statues of America's heroes and former leaders, see the manicured lawns and beautiful trees, see the limestone crypts... now raise your eyes very slowly what do you see? A very large donut and a 30 foot tall alien on pedestals...yea, that make me proud to live in Indy.
As long as the artists leagues in Indy continue to desecrate memorials to veterans I will appose the funding of any art in Indianapolis.
When those in charge within these art leagues remove their heads from their asses and stop the desecration of veteran memorials and when the city can afford the funding again I will support the funding...but only when both actions happen.

Sean Shepard said...

1000 people on a list who feel that funding for arts? (which includes free admission [per Lisa] to stuff paid for by other people? NOT a proper role of government I would point out)

But 1000 people to make up a $1.5 million. As "anonymous" said ... since it is so critical are they each willing to pony up $1500 each to replace the $1.5 millon budget? OR are they dead set on passing the bill onto everyone else?

Or better yet, why not get 10,000 people together willing to put up $150 each? Or get a 1000 people to give $15,000 or more each and then fund "the arts" FOREVER off of the Interest and get government completely out of it?

Anonymous said...

In what way is it fair to force IndyErnie to pay for art he doesn't even like?

melyssa said...

I have a prediction. I predict that not one person from that list of 1000 people will volunteer or donate money to save the arts in Indy that they proclaim will wither and die without forced taxation.

jim said...

A few years back the IU Center for Philanthropy released a report stating there were 17,000 nonprofits in central Indiana. This includes religious organizations of course, but also social services, arts organizations and others.

Were one to investigate, I suspect the vast majority would be funded in very similar ways: Lilly Endowment supports many, many organizations as do the gracious people who support community funding at Central Indiana Community Foundation. Some large part of this funding supports the United Way of Central Indiana, which then distributes it to other related-service nonprofits.

This money -- and other grants and contributions from philanthropists large and small -- pays salaries for the people who work there. Not taxpayer funds (as these are privately funded nonprofits). Nonprofit arts organizations fall into this category.

Taxpayer funding supports local and state government workers and officials including the mayor, governor, etc.

As Lisa says, if we can focus on the real question, which is, what will really lose if we discontinue city funding for the arts?, we'll end up with a more constructive sharing of ideas, and the chance to have some agreement on the topic and encourage others on either side of the issue to work together a bit better.

Regarding comments like: Why don't we gather 1000 people and contribute $1,500 each, etc."...that's fine. Let us deduct $1,500 from our taxes that is currently going to something else we don't agree with. Crazy, huh?

But that's what you're suggesting...that if we want to choose what's best for us as individuals we should pay for it individually, too.

So what if what's best for me individually isn't the extra squad car or patrols that never come to my neighborhood? Do I get a refund?

I don't have kids, so when shall I expect a refund from IPS?

The last Colts game I went to was in the early '90s...where's my rebate for all those taxes...

It's a long list. Doesn't work that way. We try to make decisions about what's best for everyone, then share those costs.

What arts advocates are suggesting is that this $1.5 million is so beneficial to so many people that unless we can see how saving it is MORE beneficial (and unfortunately no one from the city is reaching out to demonstrate that), or see what budget items are being spared (again, no explanation forthcoming), we believe we're going to lose far more than we're going to gain (which is tantamount to $2 per person).

And remember, City arts funding does not fund the purchase of art nor the salaries of artists or administrators. It is not used for perks, vacation time, etc. etc. It serves the underserved in our community, and were that the only benefit (and it isn't, as I've made clear here), it should be an easy decision to make on that basis alone.


Concerned Taxpayer said...




Melyssa said...

I admit that I have not been able to dig deep into the budget. The reason? I have a full time job.

However, no one has answered yet. Who pays the salaries of the city arts admin folks?

Why is not anyone who works in the arts forthcoming on where the money to pay their salaries and perks comes from?

Could it be the CIB?

Anonymous said...

"And so my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you --
ask what you can do for your country."

Didn't a liberal democrat say those words? Where are the volunteers?

Ablerock said...

I volunteer extensively for local arts related organizations and events. I serve on the board of Big Car Gallery in Fountain Square, volunteer regularly at the Harrison Center for the Arts, and am a founding member of an unpaid group dedicated to the promotion of excellent urban design and architecture in downtown Indy.

Whether you like it or not, a large number of your fellow citizens deem it wise to invest public funds into the promotion and support of the arts. They contributed their hard-earned money to public funds, just as those posting here did, and have a right to influence where those funds are spent.

No one is asking that the city go into debt over supporting the arts. What they are asking is that the cuts be evenly distributed across the board, not just targeted at parks and the arts, which appears to be the case.

Sean Shepard said...

Jim -

It ABSOLUTELY IS NOT everyone's responsibility to share the cost of many of the things you mentioned.

We should not all share the cost of the Colts stadium for example.

It IS NOT my responsibility to pay for other people skids to go to school just as it is not theirs to pay for mine.

What you're talking about is collectivism.

And yes, we could use endowment funding for lots of things like the arts or parks and recreation and then get it off the government books.

Not overnight, but it could be done.

Anonymous said...

I do not understand why it is logical or reasonable for the taxpayers to fund the arts, Colt's, Pacers, and other perks that can survive quite well without stealing taxpayer's hard earned money to fund such projects. Economists within the Ludwig Von Mises Institute have already proven that supporting professional sports franchises do not actually benefit the local economy and literally costs the people more than what it provides. We've been sold down the river for so long about how such subsidies help us as a community. Ask the business owners who are not directly located in downtown Indianapolis how they benefit from the Colts or Pacers as only business within the focused area will reap the benefits of increased traffic during such events who earn the true benefit of these subsidies. For the businesses such as restaurants outside the area, the sales tax increases has caused their business greater harm as they had to downsize their employment levels and also see lower sales as more people have less money to go out to eat.

You see, taxation in this regards actually hurts the marketplace, drives up costs, and only profits those who have the most to gain. We could have easily lost the Colts or Pacers and bearing the fact that we are the 13th largest metro area in the country, there is plenty of room to bring in another team to take the place of these professional (for profit) organizations and easily pay for their own stadiums and parking garages and pay for their own costs.

I am intrinsically tied to high-profile donors for the arts community who give out of their own pockets to improve our cultural footprint in this nation. I know that they also disagree with government financing the arts community as there are many other ways to generate money through private grants and sponsorships as it's good business and beneficial to all. It appears that the members who directly receive the true benefits of public monies to support their jobs and events are feeding at the troth of the taxpayer and it's time to end this nonsense. We will not be hurt by removing the $1.5 million from the city bond budget (we borrow the money at interest to pay for this) and we can easily fill in the gaps of lost money and sustain ourselves through creative means of fundraising-sponsorships.

I also know countless people who have given their time and money to help develop more arts for our city along with the tens of thousands of artists who struggle even under the current system and are not given a dime by those who directly benefit from the taxpayer-borrowed-and-stolen money and it's absurd. Let alone do we notice how political this issue has become whereas the buddy-buddy club involved in these monies only benefit the people directly associated with those who controls this money. Isn't it strange that everyone thinks it's better to steal for their groups or interests from those who cannot even afford to pay for their food, gas, or house payment due to increased property, sales, and income tax rates.

I want to challenge those who sell fear about this lost money as the only person(s) who are nervous are those who profit from these funds and their own selfish desire to take other's people money to support their own interests. I also want to understand why we as a community cannot understand that the cost of government is beyond the public's ability to pay for it. The government does not have any Constitutional right to take money for projects like this and we now demand them to end this nonsense. I also caution those out there who are complaining because the people I know who have supported the arts community out of their own funds (approx $25 million in the past year worth of donations), they are growing quite upset that their taxes have been raised and I have heard grumbling that they may reconsider donating anymore money until the government ends their practice of violating the law and stealing from the hard-working taxpayers and then let's see how many more of those complaining over a mere $1.5 million dollars will fell after the rippling effects are lost future donations.

I would be very careful if I were those who encourage this theft because you may have bitten off more than you can chew and I assure you, if this practice doesn't end, there will be a press conference to help the public explore this issue in greater detail.

We are watching and I want to thank Melyssa and others for speaking out in regards to this topic as it is important that we refocus upon the limited functions of government and restore the purchasing power back to the people where it belongs.

On a final note, I want to also thank Tony George for running an excellent private-business where he gives millions back to the community and generates 3+ Super Bowls a year with his auto races of the Indianapolis 500 & the Brickyard 400. Let's thank Kevin Ahern when he created the Midwest Music Summit and generated sponsorships and helped many of our area venues with increased traffic and sales with this regional music event and also remember that our prior Mayor (Bart Peterson) went after him to shake him down. How about Hollywood Bar & Filmworks who were also chased out of town by our former Mayor Peterson. Let's remember those who give to our community off the backs of their own sweat and tears and not take a dime from the community. You are remembered and we encourage more of this creative energy to make the marketplace work without unnecessary governmental theft.

Just remember, we are watching and if these insane activities continue, millions of dollars will be removed as a statement to end this madness.

Pete Boggs said...

The people at Save Indy Arts should put there sincerity where their mouths are and fund THEIR INTERPRETATION OF ART THEMSELVES! It's called a fund raiser, try it.

It would be civilized of them if they could manage to refrain from stealing, much like the rest of us refrain from stealing to support our interpretations of sport, writing, hobbies and other stuff that has nothing to do with the legitimate purpose of government.

Scamming is the art of criminals, where budgeting is an obligation of responsible public stewardship.