Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Things That Make You Go Grrr: Art Attack

Mom was among the many who received a plea from Macon Arts’ Executive Director Catherine Sample that said:

“We just received word from Rick Hutto that the Mayor is proposing to the County Commission that the County take over funding for Macon Arts. This would mean that the City would no longer fund Macon Arts and the Purchase of Arts Services grants. We already receive funding from the County and even prior to this news, we are at risk of it being reduced. The city has reduced its funding of the arts steadily throughout the past decade which has reduced the size of PAS grants, however its $27,000 in arts funding that many of us count on. If you feel strongly about this we urge you to contact the Mayor personally or write and call his office. We also encourage you to share this news with your boards and patrons those who support the arts.The arts and cultural organizations are an $18+ million industry in Central Georgia. We are an economic engine and the city's investment is an important fuel for this engine. Please advocate for the arts at this critically important time.”

Mom’s video editor friend, I like to call Bright Blue, decided to voice her concerns over the possible cuts with an email to the mayor. The good news: He promptly responded. The weird news: He copied her boss and sounded like he was having a bad day. Here is his unedited response (for your information):

“Stephanie,
For your information, I have only suggested that in our service delivery negotiations with Bibb County, that the county be responsible for all arts funding, rather than both City and County making two smaller contributions, which is redundant, requires presentations to both budgeting agencies and invariably leads to confusion, since each assumes that the other will contribute in an unknown amount. If the County agrees, the City would take on exclusive funding of other functions. Just trying to be more efficient. I'm not advocating for a reduction in funding for the arts, although with our current budget pressures, I'm not committing to maintain current levels either. I don't need to be convinced of the benefits to our community from the arts.”

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