"The Official Portrait of Miss InDiana"

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

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Beret Tribute to the Arts: City Council Budget Testimony Monday @ 6:30 pm

WHEN: Monday, September 8th @ 6:30 pm
WHERE: City County Building - Public Assembly Room
WHAT: Public Testimony - Marion County Budget Hearing
ORGANIZER CONTACT: Melyssa Donaghy -- phone: 317-938-8913
Mayor Ballard honors pledge to cut $500,000 in arts spending

Taxpayer elected, endorsed city councilors will get the pleasure of witnessing our citizens' love of the arts and our political will to approve Mayor Ballard's spending cuts, and then some.

Arts lovers and taxpayer advocates will give clear testimony to the city council that Indianapolis homeowners and taxpayers have our fiscal priorities in order.
Taxpayers will pay tribute to the arts, with respect for what it inspires in the human spirit, by the simple symbolism of wearing a beret.
Mayor Ballard proposes to cut $500,000 from the arts budget, still leaving a cool $1 million hard-earned taxpayer dollars in the hands of Peterson arts administration appointees who, in addition to, also receive yet-to-be-determined-big-dollar-funding from the C.I.B...Indy's ever-lovely (and kind-of-secretive) Capital Improvement Board, now in the hands of Ballard appointee, Bob Grand of Barnes & Thornburg.
Former Mayor Peterson often resorted to borrowing day-to-day operating expenses from the bond bank (with interest) to pay our bills. Our city's tax revenues never paid the principle on our mounting debt owed to these bond banks.
Property Tax revenues are the primary collateral used to secure bond bank funding and is the #1 culprit responsible for the current property tax hikes faced by Indianapolis homeowners now struggling to keep up with inflation, fuel and energy costs, and at the same time, juggle rising mortgage escrow payments.
Taxpayers believe our focus on this issue will inspire more voluntary participation and resources to be given to our city's many cultural grass roots projects.
HFFT published a courageous open letter to cut arts funding authored by city councilor Christine Scales, who was endorsed for election by HFFT in 2007.
In well-oiled fashion, a "SaveIndyArts" PR campaign was swiftly launched within 24-hours by Hamilton County resident Lisa Sirkin, owner of Gracie Communications . Via social media sites and her huge email list, Sirkin persuaded more than a thousand well-meaning arts lovers to sign her petition hoping to keep the city pumping taxpayer money.
Well-meaning arts lovers signed Sirkin's petition, maybe forgetting for an impulsive minute that the arts always enjoys immense voluntary, generous, and ever-increasing private funding already established through countless philantrophic (voluntary) foundations.
While Sirkin pays $0 in Marion county property or payroll tax, her firm's PR clients include well-funded and established Marion County institutions, that in 2006, received the equivalent of about one-half of our current budget. The Children's Museum, which is not defined as an art organization, received the largest Arts Council grant in the amount of $239,000 that year.
2006 fundraiser reported on their IRS statement, lost $38,000!

Two local arts journalists received several thousand in "artist renewal" grants
Arts Council President Gregory Charleston's 2006 compensation was $143,096 plus benefits
(more than the Mayor Greg Ballard or Governor Mitch Daniels)
Arts Council Vice-President David Lawrence's 2006 compensation was $98,777 plus benefits
($34,000 more than Sarah Palin, the most popular Governor in America and current U.S. Vice President nominee from Alaska)
$739,000 was granted to known property/casualty insurance clients of Arts Council Chairman, Dan Appel:
$239,000 Children's Museum of Indianapolis
$140,000 Eiteljorg Museum
$155,000 Indianapolis Museum of Art
$ 47,500 International Violin Competition
$ 89,500 WFYI Teleplex
$ 29,750 WFYI Teleplex (2nd grant)
$ 21,000 Fine Arts Society of Indianapolis
$ 14,500 Madame Walker Theater


chris hubbard said...


Pete Boggs said...

Taxpayer "association" with these people is like a camping scene, in a script that calls for Ned Beatty...