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“… Frankly, if it comes down to another piece of art or another cop on the street, that’s not a close call.”
So said Greg Ballard in a post-election interview with IBJ.
With Ballard now officially on the job as mayor of Indianapolis, it’s no secret that arts groups—still basking in the love of the Peterson years—are a bit worried. Former Mayor Bart Peterson was a champion of arts and culture in the city and questions hover about how much value Ballard places on cultural tourism, individual artist funding, etc.
For some, such scrutiny is a good thing. In tough economic times, shouldn’t all budget lines should be seriously reviewed?
On the other hand, if every item is valued in comparison to public safety, can any “non-essentials” survive?
So what do you expect of the new mayor?
Are there convincing cases to be made for Indy arts and culture being essential? Is it time for culture to do more fending for itself? Or have local organizations been doing enough in that area?
What changes if the city arts budget shrinks?