Save Public Funding for the Arts


VOTE HERE, Part II
August 8, 2008, 5:11 pm
Filed under: Public arts funding

THANKS! to everyone who has added their voice in support of city funding for the arts.  The voting post below hit 1,000 comments at lunchtime today (Friday) and your comments already are starting to receive a tremendous amount of attention.

I’m starting this second post since the first now takes a long time to load with all those comments!  If you want the City County Council to keep public funding for the arts, use the comment sections to place your vote. PLEASE include your full name.

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115 Comments so far
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As Indianapolis competes with other cities to bring new busineses here, an active arts community is one of the prime draws for employees with high education, income and appreciation of quality of life. Besides, it seems rather odd, doesn’t it, that civic leaders would applaud donors spending ten times more than the city spends on arts to build a cultural trail so that joggers can race past arts organizations that the city doesn’t want to help anymore? Let’s get all the oars in the water pulling in the same direction and fund our organizations and our infrastructure that makes Indyarts great.

Comment by Jim Simmons

I am really concerned that Mayor Ballard, an ex-Marine, see’s no value in supporting the arts in this city. No wonder we find children as young as 14, breaking and entering to steal guns and using them to get their way on the streets! If those youngsters were invoved in theater, dance, or music, they wouldn’t need to run the streets to have something exciting to do.

Comment by Jerri Bastin

Please do not cut funding for the arts!!!!!!!!!!!
We are the arts. We EMPLOY YOU!
Michael Stricklin

Comment by Michael Stricklin

It is hard to find new words to explain the value to our city, that have not been previously described by everyone’s sincere and and valuable comments regarding the role that the arts play in all aspects of city life, from positive economics, to public safety; both of which are interwoven into the quality of life issues we all want to enjoy on a healthy level. I remember a poster with a huge photo of screen actor Paul Newman inviting everyone to consider the text below his image…”public support for the arts; a small price to pay for beauty.” And that beauty is inbodied in the good work that each arts organization delivers to strenghten every aspect of Indianapolis’ “quality of Life”.

Comment by Don Steffy

Art if life and creative expression….It hurts me there is not more in Indy. How terrible. I hope the city council better think again!

Comment by Amanda Grube

I am willing to volunteer 40 hours per month of my time to the city to help find solutions to advance the arts without funding.

There are 1000 signatures here of people who are passionate about the preservation of the arts. Who else is willing to donate time and resources to this cause which you all obviously care so deeply about?

I am just not willing to force every citizen in the community to borrow money to pay for my passions.

Who among the thousand signatures will volunteer, donate resources or money?

Comment by Melyssa

My kids need the arts!

Comment by Elizabeth A. Ryan

Please maintain current levels of funding for the arts/parks. Both are components that will assist in public safety and building healthy communities.

Comment by Jay

Arts are such an important aspect of our city! Let’s not brush them aside! Indy has a wonderful and thriving artistic community. Let’s keep it that way!

Comment by Regina Gormanly

I echo what the other posts have already said about the arts. To answer your question about where the funding should originate, I have one comment. Raises for public safety can still be made, but at a reduced level. Current police funding can be maintained and not increased. There have to be creative ways to maneuver the budget in a way that still funds the arts. I creatively manipulate my budget so that I can participate in the arts in Indianapolis. Can my government not do the same?

Comment by Amy Reynolds

The arts are a critical part of Indianapolis. Cutting the small, symbolic funding for the arts in the city’s budget is short-sited at best. Indianapolis is a great city. Preserve the meager funding directed to showcasing the talent of her residents.

Comment by Adam Kirsch

I support public funding for the arts and believe the changes that have transpired in this city over the past ten years have made it a better place to live. I believe public support for the arts makes Indianapolis a more attractive place to live, work, and visit.

Comment by Rebecca Huehls

Do not reduce the funding nor eliminate it- this city is vital because of the arts and continues to grow because of the artistic community and the commitment made by Bart Peterson. Culture is what makes us human and to take it away reduces us to worker bees- not happy, not joyous, and no spirit.

Comment by jean easter

Councilwomen and Councilmen,
The artistic community is one of Indianpolis’ driving forces; driving gentrification, renovation, and innovation. Cutting arts spending, it seems, is like cutting off your hand to save your finger. Promoting, facilitating the artistic community should be a priority for the City–it pays dividends.

Comment by Ben Eddy

The arts are a very important part of ANY community, especially a community as big as Indianapolis. The arts in total bring in substantial revenue to the city. I believe a study was done recently, proving that the art brought in just as much, if not more, revenue than professional sports. So, how can they justify dropping support for the arts to $0!? I definitely vote “YES” to “save public support for the arts. Truly, Jason Plake

Comment by Jason Plake

This city needs its art!

Comment by Devon Lohr

The life of a world clas city is greatly dependent in great part on its arts. Please continue the level of support we’ve seen in past years.

Comment by Barbara Shoup

The life of a world clas city is greatly dependent its arts. Please continue the level of support we’ve seen in past years.

Comment by Barbara Shoup

A healthy society needs all components represented and balanced: safety, sports, social events, ARTS(= culture),religion and environment. If one of these gets too much attention, read money, the whole society will suffer. We artists put a lot of effort in trying to keep this balanced. It is a slap in our face to be heard by our leader.

Comment by Jacobina Trump

As long as those involved in the arts continue to desecrate memorials to fallen veterans I will never promote or encourage others to promote the Arts in Indianapolis.
On the Soldiers and Sailors Monument (the circle for those of you under 20yrs old) is a bench that is made like a twisted ribbon. It’s bronze and it doesn’t complement the Memorial in any way. The city’s homeless enjoy it, but it is out of place on the circle.
On Market Street East bound on the outer sidewalk of the circle is a similar art item. It looks like an owl if you turn your head just right and squint real hard, again out of place on the circle.
Plans are underway to position two sculptures at the main entrance to the Central Library. “Thin Man” is a bronze man who looks like a very tall alien the other is “Little Bird” this one looks like a large hemorrhoid cushion with a tiny little bird resting on it. Both of these pieces of “Art” will be visible to anyone leaving the Indiana War Memorial through the north doors. Imagine if you can leaving the War Memorial and looking across the plaza past the flags in the park. Look past the statues of America’s heroes and former leaders, see the manicured lawns and beautiful trees, see the limestone crypts… now raise your eyes very slowly what do you see? A very large donut and a 30 foot tall alien on pedestals…yea, that make me proud to live in Indy.
As long as the artists leagues in Indy continue to desecrate memorials to veterans I will appose the funding of any art in Indianapolis.
When those in charge within these art leagues remove their heads from their asses and stop the desecration of veteran memorials and when the city can afford the funding again I will support the funding…but only when both actions happen.

Jackie are you still on the Library Board?

Comment by IndyErnie

I live in this city because I saw a lot of promise for its continued growth because of the arts- so finding out that public art funding is being cut is incredibly sad and disturbing to me. This city can’t afford to take away funding for public art. Art brings prosperity to this city. Take it away and we’ll wither. Don’t do it!

Comment by Jamie Pawlus

A well-rounded, 21st Century city needs publicly funded art programs. It would be very short-sighted for the city of Indianapolis to abandon its funding of the arts.

Comment by Doug Ferguson

If Art brings prosperity to a city, then why are we bankrupt? Why do we have, by some estimates, 15,000 abandoned houses?

WHERE IS THE PROSPERITY?

Comment by Melyssa

As a teacher I think EVERY kid needs the arts! We do not merely want to survive as a city we want to thrive. What type of message do we send when we build a huge new stadium and cut arts funding?? Sports are important for the development of the person and the city…..SO ARE THE ARTS!!!

Comment by Ms. Zeh-Teacher

To me art is the very soul of a city. Without a soul this city will have nothing but the shadow of a great big football stadium cast down upon it. If the mayor wants to know what art means to a city he should watch the documentary “Rape of Europa”.

Comment by Nancy Mills

1% of our budget? That’s all we have to spend to nurture the arts in the city? It is well worth the investment as an emphasis on the arts brings certain intangibles to the city. Something apparently lost on our Fazoli’s Manager of a mayor.

Comment by 11samdog

I understand and commend Ballard’s focus on improving public safety- in the last year I’ve been burglarized three times, friends have been the victims of purse-snatchings and muggings, my neighborhood is rife with drug activity, and I know what it’s like to wake up at night to the sound of gunshots.

In the midst of all this, I know that the arts and parks have provided a place of solace to myself and many others. There are some deep-seated problems with public safety in Indianapolis, problems that aren’t going to be fixed overnight, no matter how much money is thrown at them. In the meantime, why eliminate funding to our spaces of refuge, just when they’re needed the most?

Comment by Chris Magee

Honestly, I know that everyone has budget constraints, even schools have eliminated, moved or reduced arts programs, which I don’t agree with, but obviously eliminating the arts funding from the city spells disaster on many levels. I agree with another gentleman in that we need to get “all oars in the water and going in the same direction.” If we don’t Indianapolis will never be the city that most of us dream it will be!

Comment by Scott Inskeep

I feel that funding for the Arts needs to continue. It is a very small percent of the city’s overall budget. No, I do not want to see salaries cut but I bet there is waste in everyone’s budget that can be cut. Supplies and items that could be reduced, reused or delayed in purchasing without compromising safety. The arts are an expression of our culture and creativity. They bring tourism money just the same as the Colts & Pacers. Maybe someone could plead with them to give the Arts some of their megamillions that the city contributes to their upkeep. If everyone has to feel the pain budgetwise, at least give the arts some funding to show that the city at least cares about something other than sports.

Comment by Frances J Long

Indianapolis is being recognized nationally for our progress as a desirable place to live. If we want to survive and perhaps thrive in the future, quality of life issues are critical. Choosing among safety, government and the arts as separate entities is like chosoing between air and food. We need it all! Obviously, we need a more stable and equitable sources of funding. The issues go beyond these riduculous and impossible choices.

Comment by Pat Milner

I have been involved with Arts organizations for the past 30 years. I have seen it’s inpact the young and the old.Art increases awareness on many levels- spiritualy and naturally. whenever ancient cultures are uncovered we know them by their Arts and their love for the Arts.

Comment by James Officer

How can anyone watch the opening ceremonies of the Olympics last evening and not think the arts are important enough to receive funding.

City County Counsillor Jackie Nytes proposes that funding the Arts would mean that police officers and fire fighters would not receive raises and that public safety would be threatened. Is there no other area to cut rather than pitting the arts community against public services?

I am sure that trying to balance the budget is a daunting task. I do not think it’s a question of whether we can afford to fund the arts; rather it is the knowledge that we can’t afford to not support the arts. I doubt that Indianapolis will remove all mention of the arts community as the city promotes itself in the national media. If the arts community is valuable enough to be used as a tool to draw visitors, conventions and new business to the city, then the city should certainly provide funding to develop such an attractive resource.

Comment by Dean Reynolds

As a professional dancer, dance teacher at a public high school, and as a citizen of Indianapolis, I cannot express enough the IMPORTANCE of art in ANY community. Art is a positive outlet for so many performers, audience members, and especially CHILDREN. It is proven that kids involved in the arts have better attention spans, perform better academically, are more motivated, and are more likely to STAY OUT OF TROUBLE. If you ask me, Indianapolis needs MORE of the arts not less of it. For so many kids, the arts may be the only positive thing that they have going in their lives. Take that away and what are they going to turn to??? There is already enough crime in the city. Is the Mayor looking to create more?

Indianapolis “prides” itself in having the IMA, multiple theatres, Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre, Dance Kaleidoscope, and numerous other artistic ventures including Butler University, which has one of the BEST dance programs in the country. When Indy is trying to sell itself as a great city it includes those aspects. The ARTS. How can a city that claims to foster such great artistry choose not to support it?

Comment by Meredith Wilson

Save the arts!

Comment by Sam Brown

I do not understand why it is logical or reasonable for the taxpayers to fund the arts, Colt’s, Pacers, and other perks that can survive quite well without stealing taxpayer’s hard earned money to fund such projects. Economists within the Ludwig Von Mises Institute have already proven that supporting professional sports franchises do not actually benefit the local economy and literally costs the people more than what it provides. We’ve been sold down the river for so long about how such subsidies help us as a community. Ask the business owners who are not directly located in downtown Indianapolis how they benefit from the Colts or Pacers as only business within the focused area will reap the benefits of increased traffic during such events who earn the true benefit of these subsidies. For the businesses such as restaurants outside the area, the sales tax increases has caused their business greater harm as they had to downsize their employment levels and also see lower sales as more people have less money to go out to eat.

You see, taxation in this regards actually hurts the marketplace, drives up costs, and only profits those who have the most to gain. We could have easily lost the Colts or Pacers and bearing the fact that we are the 13th largest metro area in the country, there is plenty of room to bring in another team to take the place of these professional (for profit) organizations and easily pay for their own stadiums and parking garages and pay for their own costs.

I am intrinsically tied to high-profile donors for the arts community who give out of their own pockets to improve our cultural footprint in this nation. I know that they also disagree with government financing the arts community as there are many other ways to generate money through private grants and sponsorships as it’s good business and beneficial to all. It appears that the members who directly receive the true benefits of public monies to support their jobs and events are feeding at the troth of the taxpayer and it’s time to end this nonsense. We will not be hurt by removing the $1.5 million from the city bond budget (we borrow the money at interest to pay for this) and we can easily fill in the gaps of lost money and sustain ourselves through creative means of fundraising-sponsorships.

I also know countless people who have given their time and money to help develop more arts for our city along with the tens of thousands of artists who struggle even under the current system and are not given a dime by those who directly benefit from the taxpayer-borrowed-and-stolen money and it’s absurd. Let alone do we notice how political this issue has become whereas the buddy-buddy club involved in these monies only benefit the people directly associated with those who controls this money. Isn’t it strange that everyone thinks it’s better to steal for their groups or interests from those who cannot even afford to pay for their food, gas, or house payment due to increased property, sales, and income tax rates.

I want to challenge those who sell fear about this lost money as the only person(s) who are nervous are those who profit from these funds and their own selfish desire to take other’s people money to support their own interests. I also want to understand why we as a community cannot understand that the cost of government is beyond the public’s ability to pay for it. The government does not have any Constitutional right to take money for projects like this and we now demand them to end this nonsense. I also caution those out there who are complaining because the people I know who have supported the arts community out of their own funds (approx $25 million in the past year worth of donations), they are growing quite upset that their taxes have been raised and I have heard grumbling that they may reconsider donating anymore money until the government ends their practice of violating the law and stealing from the hard-working taxpayers and then let’s see how many more of those complaining over a mere $1.5 million dollars will fell after the rippling effects are lost future donations.

I would be very careful if I were those who encourage this theft because you may have bitten off more than you can chew and I assure you, if this practice doesn’t end, there will be a press conference to help the public explore this issue in greater detail.

We are watching and I want to thank Melyssa and others for speaking out in regards to this topic as it is important that we refocus upon the limited functions of government and restore the purchasing power back to the people where it belongs.

On a final note, I want to also thank Tony George for running an excellent private-business where he gives millions back to the community and generates 3+ Super Bowls a year with his auto races of the Indianapolis 500 & the Brickyard 400. Let’s thank Kevin Ahern when he created the Midwest Music Summit and generated sponsorships and helped many of our area venues with increased traffic and sales with this regional music event and also remember that our prior Mayor (Bart Peterson) went after him to shake him down. How about Hollywood Bar & Filmworks who were also chased out of town by our former Mayor Peterson. Let’s remember those who give to our community off the backs of their own sweat and tears and not take a dime from the community. You are remembered and we encourage more of this creative energy to make the marketplace work without unnecessary governmental theft.

Just remember, we are watching and if these insane activities continue, millions of dollars will be removed as a statement to end this madness.

Comment by Concerned Private Donor

A.I.R.

You have a voice, how are you going to use it?

Comment by Eric E

When you reduce arts funding to increase dollars towards fighting crime, you are treating the symptoms, not the disease.

Comment by Steve V

I got involved with the arts as a young child and it changed my life. Please save the arts–you never know how many other lives you’re changing.

Comment by Keith Roach

I am not sure why anyone would say or think that “It does not matter”.

The do arts benifit and contribute to Inianapolis.

Comment by John Vielee

The arts are an outlet of expression for many people. Art changes lives. I hope it is still around in Indianapolis when my daughter is in school.

Comment by Shannon Abbott

Please keep public funding for the arts alive and well in Indianapolis. It is so important for the present and future of our children as well for all adults.

Comment by Sandra Whitaker

Many of my neighbors enjoy the arts because of funding through Arts Council grants. Without this important contribution to local organizations, these individuals would not be able to afford such opportunities and cultural programs and events would be reserved for those with meatier pocket books. These programs are invaluable and provide Indianapolis constituents with opportunities to explore worlds and cultures that might otherwise go unnoticed. Please contine to fund this initiative.

Comment by Emily Berger

I am an engineer by trade. It is a long-held belief that those of us in the technical professions have neither need of nor appreciation for the arts. Nothing could be further from the truth:

One can build an “ugly” machine. It is possible to create solutions to problems that lack elegance and artistry. This is a state that prides itself on a heritage of industry, manufacturing, and agriculture. It is therefore unthinkable that we can fail to see that an appreciation of the arts means the difference between industry that is “state-of-the-art” and that which is simply second tier.

History has shown us that once a community has relinquished its arts, it can never be restored to its former vitality. Let us hope our current administration will not make a decision that it cannot undo.

Comment by Jeffrey Kestin

When the barbarians are at the gates is no time to end public support for the arts. Arts education is essential to a civilized city.

Comment by Bob Cross

I live downtown and I work at IUPUI. I just returned from St. Mary’s chuch and walked along the cultural arts trail from my home only blocks away from this beautiful, historical downtown church. The many versions of public art — the walk itself, the Murat Theatre, the art along Mass Ave., the Anthenium, the murals — demonstrate Indianapolis’ long history of supporting the arts in its many forms. It is a part of what makes this City so beautiful.

I am always concerned when one justifies cutting in one area because it is not as important as the other areas or uses scare tactics of “hurting” law enforcement and fire protection through lack of pay or threats of reduced salary increases. Why must it always be one over the other; poor decision making on investing and reinvesting in the City’s infrastructure should not always be answered with more taxes. Maybe we should ask how the tax dollars are being used, maybe we should ask how city officials are held accountable for their choices in spending, maybe we should ask the city how they are courting fund development through federal and state grants, and or private donors. We seem to have many great philanthropists in the city — have looked into investing the development and enhancement of those individuals. How many tax breaks have we given corporations to relocated and reside in the city limits….maybe we have given out too many of those or maybe we have not given enough.

I do not think it is an easy answer nor do I think the Mayor and his budget office should expect private donors to come to the rescue and fix the funding issue. I would like to know what his option B is or his option C. The arts always seem to be an easy target like physical education, music and art funding in the public schools.

We all want Indianapolis to be successful but should it be at the sacrafice of one aspect of our community?

Comment by Daniel Maxwell

I don’t understand how cutting all funding for art even came under consideration. It’s downright disgraceful.

Comment by Amelia Schwandt

please continue your support of the arts

Comment by Kyle Ragsdale

Don’t cut the funding. Indianapolis’ lack of arts support drives some of your best people away and frustrates those who try and stay to support the arts themselves.

Comment by Jason Ober

This community needs the arts. Please don’t take away the support for it.

Comment by Megan Simpson

The arts enhance the life of any community. In Indianapolis, large investments have been made to attract Music for All, Percussive Arts Society, Drum Corps International, American Pianists Association, National Violin Competition and other world class organizations that have seen that Indianapolis values the arts. Cutting funding would signal to these and world leaders in the creative arts that they were wrong about Indianapolis. Given the opportunity these and other organizations can bring great things to our city and change the lives of our youth in a positive, creative way that will make Indy a beacon of culture in the U.S.

Comment by Mark Harris

Support for, participation in, and joy in attending the arts are just some of the things that separate life in a real city from life in a small town. Indianapolis has always been America’s biggest “small town”, but when it comes to the arts,…. it’s time to start acting like a real city.

Comment by Jay

The arts, visual and performing alike, are essential to making Indianapolis the world class city it strives to be. To cut funding would be a blow to the city, its artists and most importantly the many people who come to Indianapolis to learn and enjoy the experience.

Comment by Randall KInsley

Arts organizations are vital to Indianapolis. They not only provide the city with culture, entertainment and education, they also create millions of dollars of economic activity each year within our community. If the city is willing to offer all sorts of incentives and tax abatements to lure new businesses to Indianapolis, there should be no reason to cut the already meager $1.5 million allocated to arts orgs.

Comment by Amanda Baker

One positive way to encourage people of diversified backgrounds, both socioeconomic and ethnic, is to fund the arts. What wonderful way to help facilitate “peace in the streets”.

Comment by Vickie Goens

National and international corporations employ highly educated individuals who seek out and are drawn to a city with a strong arts and cultural community. This is what separates the major cities that people move to, and the big cities that no one wants to. It is the difference between Chicago and Kansas City. We are undermining the city’s progress as a whole when we undercut the arts.

Comment by Jason Bunch

Please support arts in Indy!

Comment by Lori Leaumont

Save the arts… don’t get rid of them

Comment by Ariel Cheatham

Art = Love

Why take love away?

Comment by Trisha Coonce

As a musician who benefits from arts funding I can speak selfishly to the need for continued support. But there is, more importantly, the large issue of its benefit to the human spirit; to the refuge that music, art, dance etc provide in these troubled times. Please continue to support this wonderful evidence of the good in human nature.

Comment by Anne Reynolds

From a philosophical standpoint, a city’s support for the arts speaks volumes about what a community aspires to be over the long haul. My hope is that Indianapolis aspires to be the type of city where a creative class is cultivated to the benefit of the broader community.

From a practical perspective, the savings to made by cutting or eliminating an already paltry public budget for the arts won’t make a dent in the fiscal shortfall the city faces.

Instead, cutting arts funding serves only as a slap in the face to an intrepid collection of artists who already are giving much more to the community with their talent, passion and creative expession than they receive in return.

I urge Mayor Ballard to show a scintilla of creative spirit when crafting his budget and preserve arts funding at its current levels. As it is, the arts community is subsisting on table scraps from the city’s budget; I don’t see how starving this group is in the public interest.

Comment by Mark Land

It always seems that art and creativity are the first cut when a budget is tight. Art in the community is a positive thing, not the bad news we hear about every day. It helps our community, helps make the city attractive to potential businesses and new people moving in. It can inspire people and keep young people occupied. This doesn’t sound very eloquent, but time and time again an art budget gets cut because the benefit can’t be measured in exact dollars and cents.

Comment by Sherri Wolfe

As a teenager in Indianapolis, I struggle to find under-21 entertainment. I’ve found one of the best things to do is to go downtown to the galleries and communities where artists work and perform. It is one of the broadest varieties of talent and culture all in one place. I would love to see these events continued all over the city.

Comment by Ariel

Indianapolis needs its arts! The city is known for it and many of us who no longer live in Indy come to Indy to partake in the fabulous offerings from the IMA to broadway shows downtown and other events that showcase talented regional artists. If we take the arts out of the city, Indianapolis will truly lose a part of her culture. That will be a sad day indeed.

Comment by Nicole Schroeder

Ditto to all the senitments expressed above

Comment by Colleen

Cutting funding for the arts is the wrong decision. Cutting funding for the arts is cutting funding for expression. Cutting funding for expression is cutting funding for the people.

This is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, is it not?

Please don’t make a mistake that everyone will regret. Take a stand, Indianapolis. Support us, your artists, and show everyone that it is possible!

Comment by Lauren Thorne

The arts of our city are its soul. Please keep them funded and healthy.

Comment by Tim Taylor

Please INCREASE funding for the arts in Indianapolis. The arts contribute so much to the beauty of this city. It is one of the MAJOR reasons I moved back to downtown!

Comment by Daniel Rex Fisher IV

Countless times my parents have tried to take me out of any kind of performing art class or art class, and I could not imagine what would happen if they actually did. For kids my age art is a way to express who we are, and our emotions, and who we want to be. It is one of the few things we can control and say what we want without getting in trouble. Arts develops character and allows us to mature and there is no question that without participating in some kind of art form for my whole live, who knows who I would be or what I would be doing with my life. It seems that when government officials are too scared and too lazy the first thing the reach to cut funding for is the arts. But I encourage them to actually listen to these comments and to think about this decision before they do something that could damage our future generations.

Comment by Geneva Moore

Yes, we need arts. But the question is do we need the arts council? And what will the city be like without it? And how can we accomplish a great arts ROI without a budget. I for one, know it can be done. We need to get government out of special interests like art and sports. The very same arguments you use to complain about sports funding are also applicable to the arts.
.

Comment by Melyssa

Already existing in the Midwest and Indianapolis is the phenomenon called the “brain drain”. This happens because many of our smartest, well educated, and open minded citizens depart the area in search of culture, art, and beauty. Let us not diminish even more the means by which we can provide the monetary incentives to keep those people here. Please do not underestimate the importance of the arts in Indianapolis.

Comment by Heidi Somers

We need the Arts!

Comment by Devon Moore

Moving from Seattle last year gives me a clear outside perspective that the arts in Indy are an integral part in the movement of reviving the quality of life here. Not only that, but I think it is what will attract more businesses and their employees to come move here. In other words, I think funding the arts pays for itself many times over in the long run. Please don’t lower their funding. Artist are already engaging and giving more of themselves to this city than I have seen anywhere else. Please don’t discourage their unique gift to this city.

Comment by Nathan Partain

Indianapolis needs the arts! Arts=Creativity=Involvement=Strong Communities=Thriving City

Comment by Sarah Martin

The Arts are as the food we eat and the air we breathe, working intimately to nurture life and to give value to our essence as a community. Experiencing the smallest bit of creative output gives each of us an authorship of our environment and moves us outside the temporal world and into a new, lifelong vision of the truest state of affairs, a vision only to be opened by the creative soul within each of us. When support for this quality to life is no longer funded, the import it holds is in danger of being diminished in the eyes of those who need most to access its benefits. Can we really afford to trade away a lifetime engagement for a short sighted effort to improve the value of Indianapolis?

Comment by Dr. Kathleen Hacker

I believe that the arts are a very vital part of learning, these are people’s futures we’re talking about stifling! Everyone deserves something to balance out all of the bland book things the schools cram in our faces all day! It’s the only thing you can learn just naturally, something that flows within you, not something someone just points at and says “memorize this!” The arts are what keeps us from becoming a bunch of walking talking people in business suits in cubicles. Let us keep what has meaning!

Comment by Haley Card

Indianapolis has become a much more livable city because of the investment in the arts over the past few years. Please don’t let us slide backwards!

Comment by Marnie Maxwell

Like they aren’t already cut back enough?

Comment by Ashley Brundage

Who wants to be called “Nap town”? We ALL need to wake up – look around – and open our eyes! Indianapolis has a LONG way to go.

Without minimal symbolic support, this ‘big city wannabe’ will continue to be viewed as ‘backwards’, around the nation.

Anything less than 1% support for Culture is an embarrassment for a town that considers itself civilized.

This city has the assets, we just need to be more creative to take advantage of what we already have access to. Truly!

Comment by Judie LS

The arts keep creative and forward-thinking people in a city. Don’t let us move backwards.

Comment by Kristina

As someone who has spent the last few months volunteering to help the less fortunate around Central Indiana I need to tell you what I’ve seen. The Arts are a critical part of personal growth, expression, and healing. From the Julian Center where plates are broken and re-assembled to signify the breaking of the domestic violence cycle and the rebuilding of their lives, to the art along the Monon that I enjoy each week. The Arts don’t serve one person or one purpose, they serve an entire community. Indy needs to recognize the importance of cultural arts and the funding that supports it. Don’t look at Art as a luxury that can be eliminated if needed. To many, including me, they represent much more than a painting here or a sculpture there….the Arts represents the spirit of our great city.

Comment by Philip Keibler

Who wants to be called “Nap town”? We ALL need to wake up – look around – and open our eyes! Indianapolis has a LONG way to go.

Without minimal symbolic support for Culture, this ‘big city wannabe’ will continue to be viewed as ‘backwards’, around the nation.

Anything less than 1% support for Culture is an embarrassment for a town that considers itself civilized.

This city has many assets, we just need to be more creative to take advantage of what we already have access to. We ALL need to keep growing, developing, and creating a better environment.

Thank you for this opportunity to sound off. Truly!

Comment by Judie S

Ugh! I feel sick to my stomach! I moved hear in 2001 and I feel like everything that gives this city a good quality of life is going to go away. A really foolish budget plan, and runs the risk of turning Indy into a 3rd string city.
William Potter

Comment by William Potter

What would the world be without arts??? Destroying dreams of children all over the world like myself. Art is an ESCAPE 4 ME!!♥ DANCE.

Comment by Ty'rah B.

You have my vote.

Comment by Alex Smithy Doohoward

Art is part of the human experience. Government funding for the arts is essential for blossoming minds.

Comment by Logan Jones

you have my vote. 🙂

Comment by Morgan Johnson

I lived in Indianapolis from 2003-2007 and was so lucky to be involved in the arts community there. I know that many of the organizations I was involved with (and employed by)would not have survived without money from the city of Indianapolis. Please don’t cut funding!

Comment by Emily Bhatti

I love the arts! You have my vote!

Comment by Rachael Hess

An artist cannot fail; it is a success to be one.”
-Charles Horton Cooley
You have my vote!!!

Comment by Brandi Cassis

Support for the arts will always be important and please remember the money that goes to artists to support their projects also stimulates business; the artists use the money to buy materials and services to make their work. Most money allocated for artists is good news for local suppliers, and contractors. Supporting the arts also supports our local economy.

Comment by Eric Nordgulen

you got my vote!!!!!!!!!

Comment by katrina shobe

this is not cool people the arts are already low on budget and we need more instead of less

Comment by Luis Salcedo

you have my vote!!!

Comment by Umara

i vote for the arts!!!!! 🙂

Comment by Shawn

Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa,Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa,Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa,Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa,Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa,Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa,Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa,Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa. . . Dude. . . Not Cool

Comment by Kevin

Art is a vital component in education and the community. It is a tool that can be utilized to share ideas and emotions. It is element that effects every one within the community. Not only can it be used to depict pressing issues or innovative ideas but art is also a means of creative thinking. With art, we learn to think in new ways which in turn gives us a fresh perspective of the world around us as well as prompting us to find new innovative solutions to problems we encounter on a daily basis. We NEED art!!!

Comment by Andrea T

I know times are hard but how do we expect to continue to grow as a desirable city if we do not do some public funding of the arts? Arts help the community improve. No improvement, no new or improved homes or jobs. How will that affect the across the board taxes collected for community protection? Can’t have one without the other. Might add we need to protect and improve our green spaces as well.

Comment by Irvin Etienne

Much of what needs to be said has already been covered so I’ll just touch on one point close to my heart – the idea that students falling behind in their grades are often removed from their art/orchestra/band class to receive an additional period of remediation. Research is often cited as a reason for or against the arts in public school and I’d like to see research that shows a correlation between additional study halls and increased ISTEP scores. What actually seems to be taking place is that these arts classes are an opportunity for these students to decompress and engage in an activity that brings them personal satisfaction. The confidence acquired in these pursuits bleeds over into their other activities.

Our education system should strive to nurture the “complete person”, not just ISTEP scores. Yes, our children need to be able to read and write as well as any students in the world, but that is no way separate from sensitivity to beauty.

Comment by John Rihani

You have my vote.

Comment by Samantha W.

You can’t just cut funding for the arts. Without art, Indianapolis would suck more than it already does. Let’s not turn this Midwestern City into something less than it can be.

Comment by Kaitlynn

I support the continuation of funding for the arts. Not at the expense of public safety but in conjunction with it. I do agree with the decision to increase the public safety budget but I also feel that cutting funding to the arts is short sighted and dangerous to our growth as a city. As some have suggested, cutting back less and funding a position to help artists seek alternate ways of raising money would be productive in this situation.

Comment by Jen Bingham

Please don’t cut funding from the arts, we are just scraping by as it is!

Comment by Ebony Drake

Dang government, don’t go and neglect art. Thats like neglecting a puppy.

Comment by Jakob

Having volunteered eight years to the Indianapolis Museum of Art as a docent, I can speak from direct experience of the ongoing need for publicly supported arts education. Please vote for our children, refuse to cut spending on the arts.

Comment by Lynn Chreist

I believe that the arts is an important part to every school as many students do participate in the arts to unlock hidden talents please keep the funding.

Comment by Rex Kong

Support the arts!

Comment by Gayle Steigerwald

Anyone of the city officials that doesn’t believe the arts initiative has had a positive effect, needs to look at Mass Ave. and think about what condition it was in 15 years ago, 10 years ago, and 5 years ago. The urban development and money invested there would not have happened had the arts not helped stabilize and revitalize that neighborhood.
Art is the good soil that helps build the roots of the community.

Comment by Matthew Eickhoff

As a teacher, I see tremendous value to the arts in Indianapolis. I understand that all of Indianapolis is suffering from budget reductions. Still you cannot get rid of funding for the arts altogether. Often the kids who are most at need find an outlet through the arts. They see possibilities in their neighborhoods through public art projects. Once we cut this funding, we will be cutting a vital outlet for our youth that helps keep our kids out of trouble. Let’s be proactive and grant funding for the arts, rather than reactive and have to place more and more adult offenders in jail who never found their outlet when they were youth.

Comment by Denise Charboneau

Take away the arts and we are just another concrete jungle. Just another midwest big town trying to be a city but falling ever more short of doing so. We need the arts as much as we need sports. Imagine a multicultural city with great sports teams and an interesting and supported arts community. THAT is a city. I’m a huge sports fan, but I hope that if we find room for a monsterous new football stadium, that we can find a means to pay for other things that will enrich the citizens of Indianapolis. Budget for the arts. Do it!

Comment by RJ Moore

please keep funding the arts!

Comment by Sara Diggs

It is of vital importance that we support the arts

Comment by sidney allen

Coming from NJ I have tried to convince many east coast friends that the Indianapolis arts scene is vital and growing. Don’t prove me wrong! Public art brings so much energy to the city and opportunities to artists.

Indy needs: more public art and more trees.

Comment by debbie reichard

I moved here in 1959 and experienced the change in this city that began with the administration of mayor Richard Lugar (a republican). Although some succeeding mayors have been less enthusiastic than others about the value of arts and culture in a community, the movement has been consistently forward since that time. My husband and I contribute both dollars and energy to the arts and will do so as long as we live. There are many private individuals and corporations in this community that will continue to support the arts regardless of what this administration does. Does that mean the city should cut funding for the arts to zero? Only if this administration wants our town to be regarded as an ignorant backwater, as it was in my early days here. I realize these are tough times for everyone. I also know for a fact that waste is endemic in government, and there always seems to be enough money for whatever the current administration has set as a priority.

We talk a lot about crime and safety, and a lot of money has been dedicated recently to putting the police department under the mayor’s office. Arts opportunities in school and community programs give at risk youth opportunities to excel and find
meaning for their lives. The funding for these programs is minimal. There are many people working for chicken feed in this town to help bring meaningful activities for youth, and what they accomplish is a bargain. Anyone who thinks someone is getting rich off the $1mil budgeted for the arts is not getting correct information.

Comment by Diane Seybert

I grew up in Indianapolis. The city has changed tremendously, due in part to the arts. People now gravitate to the arts districts. These areas were places people did not visit in the not so distant past. They come to not only see and purchase art, but spend money in restaurants and stores, which means revenue for the city. People have moved from the suburbs to downtown Indy not just for sports, but also for the cultural environment. Cutting funding for the arts would be a great detriment to Indianapolis.

Comment by Patti Trostle

keep the arts!

Comment by Jaclyn Lahr




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