Monday, May 15, 2006

City arts commissions

I am intrigued by cities with arts commissions. Whatever their advantages or drawbacks, the fiasco of developers like HHG taking over a functioning art school to build housing would probably not have happened in a city with an arts commission.

Here is Aurora's commission mission statment:
The Public Art Commission oversees the public art program, including budgeting for the purchases, maintenance and insurance of public art and exhibitions owned or held by the city. The Public Art Commission also establishes guidelines for the selection of artists, artworks and sites for public art and establishes and maintains a program for providing art educational opportunities for all residents of the City of Aurora.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Can you give a definition of "functioning"?

Artworks only classes listed in the last year or so have been sponsored by MCCC. Of the ones offered this term, nearly half were cancelled.

Sound more like it's dead to dying.


7:24 PM  
Blogger Dimitri Rotov said...

My point has been - please keep this in mind - that ARTWORKS, the school, does not equal ARTWORKS the board serving up "pure" ARTWORKS content. It is a space run by the board open to community use. Nor can its success be measured in terms of how many successful programs the ARTWORKS board itself creates or approves. Again, it's a center that my neighbors and I used in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Trentonians should do so now.

I don't want to be too cute about the enrollment in MCCC classes, but the higher the rate of unfilled classes (you call this failure), the greater the likelihood that class topics are pushing it. That's a good thing. I enrolled in an icon painting class at ARTWORKS one year that I believe did not get enough students to launch. I'm glad they tried it on.

In the glass half full department, my temptation is to blame the community that "fails" to use this incredible resource. But we don't need blame now - we need to save this space for the purpose for which it was designed.

8:13 AM  
Blogger Richard Layman said...

Don't be so sure. There are effective arts commissions and ineffective arts commissions, just like most city agencies and commissions. But you would, presumably, have some advocates in your corner.

DC has an arts commission, yet the Glass School and Sculpture Center, displaced by the baseball stadium are lost to the city. Glass School is relocating in Arlington County VA and the Sculpture Center is shut down, maybe it won't reopen.

AND THEY HAD 18 MONTHS to find alternative space....

7:05 PM  

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