Save Public Funding for the Arts


Indianapolis City County Council to Hear Budget Testimony on Sept. 8
September 5, 2008, 12:04 pm
Filed under: Public arts funding

The last public hearing for the 2009 Indianapolis budget, as presented by Mayor Greg Ballard, is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m. Get there early and don’t forget to sign up to speak – the public assembly room will fill up fast since testimony will be heard on many aspects of the budget.

This is the last public opportunity for residents, artists and arts education and outreach program participants to testify about their experiences and why they support continued city funding for the arts.

As Mark Miles from CICP said yesterday at the annual Start with Art luncheon, Mayor Ballard “gets it.”  He understands the valuable role that art can play in a community, especially in the lives of young people. That’s why he kept funding for the arts in the budget and is looking for ways to move the funding out from under the property tax umbrella in the city’s budget.

Indianapolis is fortunate that its Mayor gets it.  City funding for the arts leverages private donations. In fact the Arts Council of Indianapolis requires a dollar-for-dollar match in order to receive city funding. The arts create a vibrant community. They create economic opportunity. They reflect the personality of the city and attract out of town visitors (and out of county patrons). AND they contribute to public safety. Colonel Dean Esserman, police chief of the Providence, Rhode Island police force, shared many examples yesterday about how his force partners with the arts to give kids self-esteem, keep them off the streets, and show them that “love comes first, about all.”

Please raise your voice one more time to ensure that the majority of the City County Council get it too.