Fear of Art
As of late, the local news media has been running a number of “holy crap, it’s a recession! Why is [insert public agency] spending your tax dollars on [insert derogatory adjective] art while they’re facing a [insert random number] million dollar shortfall?!!” Apparently, they assume their viewers cannot grasp the concept of budget allocation that takes place months or years in advance.
10 Connects (the bizarre new name for our local CBS affiliate) ran a story last night (my apologies if their embedded video takes long to load – their player doesn’t seem as efficient as YouTube’s) about the new $27,000 topiary bull sitting in front of the new Marshall Center. The pictures don’t really do it justice – I drove by it last week, and I honestly think it looks pretty dope. It’s a nice touch for our campus, which frankly looks like a giant office park (with the exception of MLK plaza). Based on comments to the 10 Connects story, and on a similar story run by the Oracle, it would seem I am in the minority.
As an aside, I actually have nothing personal against 10 Connects – I interviewed for a job there once, and tend prefer their newscasts over their competitors.
The local ABC affiliate, ran a similar story last week about the upcoming Lights On Tampa light show, which projects the work of animators and video artists onto various buildings around downtown. The project cost an incredible amount of money, though the majority comes from private donors. The rest comes from the state (money that can’t be spent on anything else), and about $70,000 comes from the city. Seems a small price to pay to spruce up a city that is about to host a very small game of American football called the Super Bowl (perhaps you’ve heard of it?).