The NYC comparisons are so tiring...
NYC has 32 times the population of JC. Any number you throw out there when comparing JC to NYC should factor that in. Not to mention that due to economy of scales, their budget and other numbers/stats are entirely different than ours.
How much does our city spend on arts or arts-related programs? Is it more than 5.5 MM? If so, we are spending more than NYC. If it is less, perhaps we don't have the economy of scales to do better.
Hey, NYC had about 350 homicides each of the past few years... but we had about 25, more than twice as many per 100,000 residents. Why is that? We should have had about 21 instead.
As the saying goes... numbers don't lie, statistics do.
If Jersey City were giving $5.5 million to the arts - trust me - you would be seeing the biggest lovefest of artists and politicos that has ever existed since King Louis the XIV of France pronounced himself the Sun King and bankrolled spectacles of dance, music, scenery, and debauchery in his royal court. Were it so...
Reality check: I don't believe the City gives 1 penny in direct funding to the arts - unless you count the real estate marketing scheme that is the mural program...
But you're right: comparisons with NYC are so tiring... Economies of scale... We're too small to have one functioning professional arts organization. A museum is too much to ask. A professional theater group with a paid staff and actors? How presumptuous and demanding of us artists...
The thing about hyperbole and shrill posts is that it makes it easy to dismiss what would otherwise could have been good points.
Obviously, the city contributes to the arts, but you just don't like how they go about it, or (perhaps willfully?) ignore their contributions. Yes, there is the (much maligned) mural program, as well as the various subsidies and support provided to programs like Groove on Grove, or the Riverview Jazz Festival. There is, of course, the Office of Cultural Affairs, and the various programs and services they sponsor and support. There is the debacle that is the Loew's Theater, which for years got city support and is now mired in litigation. Examples of city funding of arts and arts-related programs and services abound. Heck, there are even development policies that have secured low cost housing for artists in some new buildings.
So, yes, I do think some so-called artists can be presumptuous and demanding.