Arts Update: No More Art
Readers may have periodically heard me lament about the funding situation of the Pierce County Arts Commission since shortly after first joining roughly a year ago. In my time, I’ve watched the commission’s budget fall from $180,000 to $135,000 in September of 2008, to – literally – $0 for the 3/09-12/09 budget cycle.
To say I’m disappointed by the council’s decision would be an understatement: I’m pissed. Pissed because all these cuts are being done in the name of “creating jobs” but which nonetheless ultimately have the effect of spawning mass lay-offs. Pissed because those about to be laid off represent several productive members of society whose industry is ultimately no less essential to our community than any other.
After a year on the commission, I’ve come to realize our limits and they are, I’m sorry to say, surprisingly short. But at the end of the day, I consider myself fortunate enough to be on a commission that actually accomplishes what it sets out to do: promote art awareness and development. The recession aside, Pierce County’s artistic community has bloomed in ways nobody expected over the past five years and for that alone our county and cities’ commissions deserve a lot of credit.
I can only assume that its time to once again remind our elected officials of that fact, and I would therefore encourage every reader to write their county councilman (which can be found here) and tell he/she to support the arts this recession. (If you don’t know which district you live in, find out here.)
In the video below, members of the Pierce County Arts Commission, including myself, speak about the cutting of our budget and the importance of public arts funding.