I’ve always been an advocate for honest local support of our arts and culture. Further, I believe the city’s investment in the our cultural institutions can only be achieved through a sales tax. So I am please to see this conversation taking place here in Cincinnati.
The nearly exhausted and always exhausting claim that art is for the elites is an argument only really supported by our city’s current lack of community commitment to the arts through a sales tax. For those who follow my blog, you know very well I have never, nor will I ever believe in the Artswave “ripple.” As much as this local funding source claims to make art available to the masses (sic), in truth Artswave is the elite arm controlling local arts.
This leads to my only concern regarding a sales tax to support Cincinnati’s cultural icons. Some of the institutions possibly targeted for this help, like the Cincinnati Art Museum, or arts and cultural programming and events throughout Greater Cincinnati are currently already supported by Artswave.
Will this sales tax function as a pipe through which to funnel more money into Artswave? Will Artswave, with its history of determining where arts funding lands, be controlling this money as well?
With the incestuous nature of our local arts organizations, I’d be interested to see if a local sales tax could impose an effective bottom/up support for our cultural institutions rather than feeding the trickle down approach of the “ripple.”