Posts Tagged ‘Artistic Community’

Livable Community

February 4, 2009

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?

Art threat

February 3, 2009

Art faces budget cuts in Indiana. The Indiana Arts Commission specifically could face a 50 percent cut, and the money that will disappear is money that is typically distributed in grants to Indiana’s counties. That means the artistic communities of a number of small towns and cities across Indiana who are dependent upon public donations and grants for their very survival and who are already hurting from dwindling donations because of a depressed economy face grave danger.

These proposed cuts from Governor Daniels’ budget come only two years after Indiana’s overall spending on the arts ranked fortieth in the United States. While poised to grow at that time to thirtieth as seen in Laura Moran’s article for — see page 25 of the Spring 2007 issue — Indiana’s spending on arts remained insufficient. The success of an artistic community is dependent upon the funding it receives, and the success of a community is partially dependent upon the success of its artistic community.