There’s been considerable angst (rightfully so) by the arts community because our esteemed legislature is sliding quickly toward a huge mistake – closing down the Georgia Council for the Arts. They’ve cut funding to GCA considerably each of the past several years; but within the last week, they seem to be ready to eviscerate the agency that provides the conduit to every one of Georgia’s 159 counties to offer art programming to its residents.
Bill Ronay and I had just paid $25 per person to enjoy the excellent Preview Party for Fired Works, a Macon Arts show and sale of 58 potters’ work. We were resting in our $100 motel room in Warner Robins, preparing for a fun day at Mossy Creek (where we spent $65), when newscasters on WMAZ- Macon announced the results of a web poll they’d been taking all day.
Should the State spend more or less on the arts?
- 66% said less
- 12% said more
- 22% said about the same
Why would web poll respondents vote that way? In my opinion, they do not understand how much economic impact the arts has in Middle Georgia or in the State.
They think the arts is a high-brow, incomprehensible kind of thing. They, like every one of the legislators I know, may well have a wife or son or other relative who is involved in some sort of creative endeavor, but they do not consider that person as involved in an industry making an impact on the State’s economy.
And that is the arts’ fault. We do not talk the same language as our county commissioners, our city councils, our mayors, our representatives, our senators, or our governor. They talk MONEY and ECONOMIC IMPACT. We do not.
I challenge every person in the arts industry to start talking about their economic impact on their community. WE MUST COMMUNICATE!