The next steps…

Friends and colleagues,

I appreciate your support of the ongoing debate with Mr. Wayne Dolcefino of ABC13 about the validity of public funding for the arts here in Houston.  Your words and sentiments have meant a lot to me.

Though I do not mean to discount the value I place on your comments here on this blog, I must reiterate that our comments will be most powerful in public forums- forums populated by everyone, including those not involved in the arts.  We must educate the general public about the art in our city, as well as the means by which it is supported.  As someone aptly pointed out in those comments, Mr. Dolcefino is creating an excellent opportunity for us to unite and speak up about the woeful lack of public funding for art in Texas as compared to other states in our country.  Again, I reiterate the statistic that Texas ranks 49th in per capita funding ($0.22 per person) among all U. S. State Arts Agencies.

Please understand that Mr. Dolcefino sees his reporting as helpful to our city.  Calling him names or taking personal pot-shots at him does not help our issue.  As you may note from the first lines of his most recent report (http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news/13_undercover&id=6500747&status=ok), he is incorporating these emails/comments into his attack.  Let’s not play this game- at least, not his way.  I encourage you to read, listen, and speak out- but with information and reason on your side.  I imagine that in the next few days there will be a massive counterpoint to Mr. Dolcefino’s report, and I am confident that facts and figures will emerge that defend the position of public funding for art in Houston.  Indeed, this should be a learning experience for all of us.

Some take the position that we should let this blow over, but I disagree.  In this age of internet searches, government bailouts, and RenGen theories, transparency is key.  If there is mismanagement of public funds, we must acknowledge it- and correct it.  And at the same time, we must cry out for the whole story to be told- This is where the engagement of everyone is needed.  Please write your thoughts and sentiments to networks, radio stations, blogs, etc.

You can easily post comments here on the HAA blog: www.haablog.com,

on the ABC13 webpages:

http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/channel?section=news/13_undercover&id=5755213

http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news/13_undercover&id=6497092

http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news/13_undercover&id=6500747&status=ok

on Glasstire: http://glasstire.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=19&Itemid=23

on the B.S. Art Blog: http://glasstire.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2848

and on the Schipul Brand To be Determined blog: http://www.brandtobedetermined.com/brandtobedetermined/2008/11/economic-impact-of-arts-in-houston.html

Email Dolcefino himself at Wayne.Dolcefino@abc.com and call the General Manager at KTRK, Henry Florsheim, at (713) 666-0713.

Should we let this blow over?  Should we let this attitude persist in a city that continually fights to stand alongside the more respected members of the cultural community in our country?

You already know what my answer is.

Again, I thank you.

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~ by ladamesansregrets on November 12, 2008.

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