'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?
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  • 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.

    Sincerely,

    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. Really, taking someone managing the regulation of Alcohol and making himthe President of an IVY Tech regional campus. Does he have an education background?

  2. Jan, great rant. Now how about you review the report and offer rebuttal of the memo. This might be more conducive to civil discourse than a wild rant with no supporting facts. Perhaps some links to support your assertions would be helpful

  3. I've lived in Indianapolis my whole and been to the track 3 times. Once for a Brickyard, once last year on a practice day for Indy 500, and once when I was a high school student to pick up trash for community service. In the past 11 years, I would say while the IMS is a great venue, there are some upgrades that would show that it's changing with the times, just like the city is. First, take out the bleachers and put in individual seats. Kentucky Motor Speedway has individual seats and they look cool. Fix up the restrooms. Add wi-fi. Like others have suggested, look at bringing in concerts leading up to events. Don't just stick with the country music genre. Pop music would work well too I believe. This will attract more young celebrities to the Indy 500 like the kind that go to the Kentucky Derby. Work with Indy Go to increase the frequency of the bus route to the track during high end events. That way people have other options than worrying about where to park and paying for parking. Then after all of this, look at getting night lights. I think the aforementioned strategies are more necessary than night racing at this point in time.

  4. Talking about congestion ANYWHERE in Indianapolis is absolutely laughable. Sure you may have to wait in 5 minutes of traffic to travel down BR avenue during *peak* times. But that is absolutely nothing compared to actual big cities. Indy is way too suburban to have actual congestion problems. So please, never bring up "congestion" as an excuse to avoid development in Indianapolis. If anything, we could use a little more.

  5. Oh wait. Never mind.

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