Re: Support and Survival of the Arts in Jersey City
Posted by MartinM on 2017/5/18 10:23:29
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.
Greater detail and transparency of this arts funding would be greatly appreciated. To my knowledge: Groove on Grove is funded entirely by small businesses associated with the HDSID. The Mural Project pays for supplies but not artists fees - and the funds are drawn from anti-gaffiti money from the state - not municipal funds. I don't have info on the Loew's - would love to hear their experience about funding from the city - but my guess is that it's been abysmal or non-existent.
Bottom line is that while you go about defending city policy on arts - the landscape of arts organizations is barren. We have not retained key organizations such as the Jersey City Museum, Jersey City Children's Theater, Attic Ensemble, and others. Arts leaders are giving up on Jersey City left and right. In fact - can you name one arts non-profit that has a viable operation - staffing, paid employees, reasonable donor base, etc? No - you can't because there aren't any.
That is why there needs to be leadership from city government. It also means that the community - residents and local business - needs to become more aware of what is needed to sustain arts and become more supportive.
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