Greg Ballard, as has been reported elsewhere, will be at the Republican National Convention.
The timing is either fortunate or unfortunate, depending on your perspective. With budget cuts looming for arts, this annual rah-rah event--which attracts about 1200 people--might have been a good time for Ballard to make his position clear to a large room of business leaders.
On the other hand, given the proposed cuts, it might be wise for the Mayor to be anywhere but at that luncheon.
Either way, the program seems designed to appeal to those skeptical of the impact of the arts: The keynote speaker is Col. Dean Esserman, Rhode Island chief of police, whose message is that the arts play a key role in public safety.