'Arts Day' at the State House

March 12, 2009
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Arts advocates are used to having trouble getting attention. But today's Arts Day at the Indiana State House is being double teamed by a downtown fire and the Big 10 tournament. (The fire already bumped my Fox 59 weekend A&E preview segment off the schedule today, which of course delivers a crushing blow to the arts.)

Still, the Indiana Coalition for the Arts is pushing for a big presence today--and more via e-mail--to push the value of public funding for the arts and arts education. More details here.  

So what message do you think arts advocates should be sending? Or do you think, in tough economic times, that the arts should take a back seat to other priorities?

Your thoughts?
  • I think Arts the the foundation of civilized society is a good start - when all else is crumbling to ruin (stock market, sports teams...) the arts are enduring. Also, in these times, I think the truly fringe elements of the arts (i.e. anything dealing with poop) should be minimized and exhibits/shows with broader appeal (See how many people we're making happy!) should be emphasized. 1,000 people at an art event is a much better turn-out (comparatively) than 1,000 people at a Pacers game.

    Just my 2 cents.
  • I didn't have a free moment until just now (after 5 pm) so I don't know if my email will count towards the goal of 1000 emails today, but here is what I sent anyway:

    Dear _____,

    I hope it is not too late to add my voice to the others who are contacting you today during Arts Day at the Statehouse.

    The arts are essential to the well-being of our community. They are NOT a frill or something that would be nice if... They are essential.

    Please do NOT support any major cuts to the arts.


    Hope Baugh

    That Indiana Coalition for the Arts website made it very easy to compose and send an email to my representatives. I appreciate that! I didn't use their talking points, obviously, but I appreciated having them there to think about.

    I am proud of myself for writing something so short. I could write volumes on the importance of the arts!

    Sue B., I don't know if I always need art to make me happy...sometimes I would rather it make me think or that it inspire me or that it heal me or that it make me feel less lonely and/or less alone, all of which are a little different from making me happy.

    But I love your no poop guideline.

    Hope Baugh
    Indy Theatre Habit
  • Interestingly, even though I subscribe (and mostly ready) a number of arts organization's newsletters, I was not aware of this day. I'm assuming many of the local arts organizations support the Coalition. I would have gladly spread the word and given my support.
  • Attending Arts Day at the Statehouse gave me a great chance to network, and find out about several different organizations at opposite ends of Indiana's art world. Unfortunately, I didn't see many fellow artists.
  • This day was poorly publicized, if at all. Attendance was the usual suspects of area arts administrators. The inclusion of awards in the ceremonies just added to the unfocused impression the entire event gave. If you are gathering at the Statehouse to lobby, then just lobby!

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  1. The deductible is entirely paid by the POWER account. No one ever has to contribute more than $25/month into the POWER account and it is often less. The only cost not paid out of the POWER account is the ER copay ($8-25) for non-emergent use of the ER. And under HIP 2.0, if a member calls the toll-free, 24 hour nurse line, and the nurse tells them to go to the ER, the copay is waived. It's also waived if the member is admitted to the hospital. Honestly, although it is certainly not "free" - I think Indiana has created a decent plan for the currently uninsured. Also consider that if a member obtains preventive care, she can lower her monthly contribution for the next year. Non-profits may pay up to 75% of the contribution on behalf of the member, and the member's employer may pay up to 50% of the contribution.

  2. I wonder if the governor could multi-task and talk to CMS about helping Indiana get our state based exchange going so Hoosiers don't lose subsidy if the court decision holds. One option I've seen is for states to contract with healthcare.gov. Or maybe Indiana isn't really interested in healthcare insurance coverage for Hoosiers.

  3. So, how much did either of YOU contribute? HGH Thank you Mr. Ozdemir for your investments in this city and your contribution to the arts.

  4. So heres brilliant planning for you...build a $30 M sports complex with tax dollars, yet send all the hotel tax revenue to Carmel and Fishers. Westfield will unlikely never see a payback but the hotel "centers" of Carmel and Fishers will get rich. Lousy strategy Andy Cook!

  5. AlanB, this is how it works...A corporate welfare queen makes a tiny contribution to the arts and gets tons of positive media from outlets like the IBJ. In turn, they are more easily to get their 10s of millions of dollars of corporate welfare (ironically from the same people who are against welfare for humans).