The solo guitarist is a dear friend and former classmate Leighton Moore. He is a Harvard grad and attorney these days. In 1990, I lived around the corner on Josephine Street, it was a great time.
You came around to the eventuality that the city would hear reason for it's sound investment in one of it's most productive budget items. You have not been saying it all along.
I find it sad that you feel compelled to refute facts because they do not align with your ideology. You categorize arts funding by state and local governments as the lining up individuals and handing them money for nothing. When nothing could be further from the truth.
You seem reluctant to acknowledge that these are non-profit agencies, who aside from creating arts experiences- create jobs, tourism dollars, a tremendous positive economic impact on private industry, support for education while providing significant tax income to the government. All of which a person never has to step into a theatre, concert hall or museum to benefit from as a citizen.
Those of us who have made the choice to stay in state that ranks 49th in per capita arts funding are dedicated professionals striving for a better community.
Georgians pay less for more benefit, that is a fact. I know you will try to find some weak rebuttal as to how these pennies are a huge infringement to your rights, but to me it will just be sad.
You keep trying to compare non-profits to capitalist industry.
They don't give everyone a 501(c)(3). Films do not have a board of directors and when a film makes money it goes in to the pockets of those who risked money as profit.
Non-profits are just that. Working to get a budget down to zero. If there is a surplus the board does not get to pocket the money. That money, although rare, goes into more programs to benefit the community.
I think we will never agree, but I hope that you have a better perspective as to what is at stake.
"Please detail this mechanism. The city runs on property taxes and sales taxes."
That is partially true. Consumer spending and tourism are also significant economic engines for local business. I'm more familiar with numbers for the state, but I can tell you that sales tax on tickets alone covered the states investment in the arts with an economic significantly higher. (did you know that we are one of the only states to charge a tax on tickets to arts events?)
As to your argument that you do not directly benefit from the arts because you do not consume them is also a misnomer.
I have never personally required the assistance of the fire department, yet I do not foolishly dispute the value they offer the community.
Non-profit arts groups provide the city many valuable services. With arts in education being cut to the quick, arts groups supplement the public schools with many valuable programs (It is no coincidence that Georgia is 49th in per capita arts spending and 49th in education)
Theaters, museums, concert halls and their performances create spending and jobs. Yes arts jobs are jobs, too. They strongly effect the quality of life as well as increase property values and are in many cases an important factor in bringing in companies for relocation. Not to mention the importance of the arts in our convention business.
Cultural tourism creates more inflow of money into the state than sports tourism.
The film industry in Georgia has been one of the biggest success stories in local business in the past 10 years. When they hire local artists and artisans guess who pays income tax. With no arts, no skilled labor for hire in a huge growth field.
I could go on.
You sir, want to put words in the artists mouth about people consuming art or art being worthy. This is now about business and for the arts that have survived here in Georgia, we are very good business.
I need money to run my city, and I don't have enough. I am going to cut off the fuel to one of my biggest return on investment programs. Tax payers will now have to suffer even more without the benefit of those non-profit services and we have helped to erode the future of our city permanently during a lean time.
I have to disagree with ROCK 'EM SOCK 'EM ROBOTS. When I was a kid, I always wanted them. They looked cool, tough and fun.
Years later, after they appeared in some TV ad for a truck, I was inspired to buy them for my son. I finally get to play with the robots. Long story short - they suck!
There is no rhyme or reason to them. Sometimes the head pops up easily, and sometimes never. Sometimes the robot mysteriously becomes dislodged from the toy. The design of the punching button is not great either.
We slyly took them to Goodwill over the summer after no use beyond Dec. 26. This fall, Toy Story 3D comes out and makes them look cool again. We then had to break it to my son that they are gone, otherwise he would have never noticed.
Those Robots have caused me nothing but aggravation.
Creative Loafing Atlanta
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