CORNWALL Ontario – Sheep. Not everyone likes them. They can be a bit like Art. Well actually that would be taking artistic licence as sheep really aren’t like art unless well….we are entering a fuzzy zone of mystical proportions that probably aren’t relative to tonight’s City Council meeting in Cornwall where one of the issues will be Management’s report to council shooting down the plan by a rookie councilor who wants to spend more money on a Leisure Arts co-ordinator which I have been opposed to.
We want to cut taxes, not bloat them. Frankly we have people at City Hall that cover some of that ground. Frankly I can’t imagine what some of these folks do to fill a full time position?
What I do know is that various levels of government locally have spent a lot of money with almost no return.
Aultsville Theatre? Frankly would it have received a dime of our tax money if former CAO Paul Fitzpatrick wasn’t put on its(St. Lawrence College’s) board? And now that he’s off the board can someone please share why we are giving them over $100K per year for a facility that really is simply the auditorium of the college? I personally would rather take that $100K and create a fund that would sponsor and give out micro loans to venues and promoters here in our city to help jump start a scene from the current morgue like one we don’t have going on now. When Brock Vegas gets shows and we don’t there’s a problem that needs to be addressed.
Graham Greer’s grant was over so he’s not there either. It will probably be the same thing for Bruce Davis and YAC
or what Betty Healey and friends suggest is an arts council. With over $100,000 in tax dollars spent on Bruce’s salary and other wonderful studies and bureaucratic nonsense YAC has about 35 members give or take after how many years of…um….building?
City Hall has given lip service to the arts. I can’t think of Mayor O’Shaughnessy having any comprehension of art unless it’s blowing a tune into a beer bottle or some country music although from what I have heard he is an artist when it comes to the mechanics of restoring old tractors which frankly is artistic.
We also give the Woodhouse Museum a ridiculous amount of money for very little in return.
There are smaller amounts given out. Last year TAG got about $50K, down from the $70K it normally was getting.
I have to disclose that I’m on TAG’s board. I of course am not writing on behalf of the board, but TAG does do what I have supported which is putting money, cold hard cash, into Artists hands as it did at its juried show a few weeks ago when nearly $1,500 in cold hard cash was awarded.
There are some that are after TAG’s tiny support from City Hall. There have been rumblings that City Hall will not support TAG this year and cut its funding because I’m on the board. I know. Insanity, but then half this council was present to attack a 3 month campaign on this newspaper where the public would write in about how great Cornwall was. I kid you not.
As a matter of fact I’ve mulled resigning because I simply would be mortified if something this petty and ghastly occurred. Frankly TAG should receive more money than it’s asked for this year because when run well TAG is our Art Centre.
If TAG can’t make it, for whatever reason, there clearly is no reason to do any studies or consider spending on a larger facility.
Now TAG is not without its own critics and I think some of the criticism is warranted which is why the board is inviting members to become part of the solution and hopefully expansion of itself in 2015, not 2018.
That’s for another story, but I’m kinda excited with some of the direction and programs that may be coming to TAG.
No, we don’t need another salary. We need to find ways for Artists to grow and to earn cash, because a well paid artist is a happy artist and that will attract more artists. That money, if it is to be spent should be spent on Artists and supporting them.
What do you think Cornwall? I’d love if some of our artists would post a comment here and hope to see many faces at TAG’s next meeting on Monday February 16th at 7PM.
It takes Artists to make Art. And it takes Art to make a city magical.
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