In 1996, I returned to Indiana from Pittsburgh.
In my time away, I witnessed Pittsburgh’s Renaissance II, a redevelopment program that arguably helped lead to Pittsburgh’s recognition as “America’s Most Livable City” by Rand-McNally in 1985. This recognition in 1985 was revolutionary and somewhat controversial, but Pittsburgh’s strengths included a catalog of “measurements” too overwhelming to ignore. From “its low crime and housing costs” to “its high arts, education and health care quality” a new perception of the Steel City came to fruition.
This shift began during Pittsburgh’s first Renaissance in the 1950s with Mayor David L. Lawrence’s proclamation that “The limiting factor [in our success] must always be our willingness and our ability to pay for what we want.”
It is that idea of what determines success and failure that I wish to share with Governor Daniels as he seeks to cut Indiana Arts funding. It would also behoove Indiana’s legislative body and city executives to pay attention as they seek to negotiate our faltering economy and how to use stimulus monies.
Do you want a livable state, or do you wish to rank near the bottom?