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Added Apr 21 2012

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/764/367/870/save-the-neighborhood-arts-festivals/
Lookie Here! It’s the Reader….please help me spread the word by signing the petition; there’s a link to it in Deanna’s blog. Copy the link and re-post it to your lists; email it, tweet it, facebook it….friends, colleagues, family. Art is life!
Namaste,
gw
http://www.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/archives/2012/04/20/artists-rally-to-save-their-street-festivals

  • g.w. a.p. resident

    And, back to the art fair issue....I've come into further information on this issue.

    With regard to the 10% Bill Morton (ward 49) talked about:
    A non-profit group usually doesn't have the wherewithal to undertake all the expenses for a festival such as insurance, bonds, etc. So, what they do is partner with one of the business groups or chamber or other entity that can underwrite the event as part of their umbrella. They are acting as what's known as a "fiduciary agent". The standard fee for this agency is usually 10%. This is not a political donation, it's not money for a political purpose and it's not money for anything other than the event and its business operating expenses.
    I hope this clears up any confusion.

    In addition, there's also the issue of how the "Save the Neighborhood Art Fairs" petition arose. It was my mistake in calling the elimination of fee waivers an "ordinance". I'm sorry if that was misleading...I had been mislead to believe it was an actual ordinance change. I've since been educated further to the exact nature of the change. It happened thusly:

    The Chicago 2012 budget was being considered and voted on in the city counsel in November. There were a few Aldermen who had discussions on the elimination of a line item in the proposed budget that was allocated for discretionary spending for fee waivers of various type. According to Joe Moore, Alderman of the 49th ward, there were only a few aldermen that understood the nature of the line item elimination and who had even discussed the possible outcomes of the change.

    Moore admits that most of the aldermen never even knew the specifics of they were voting on, but just gave a blanket approval to the new budget on November 16th, 2011. (And, I'm sure there were other items buried in the budget that got changed without much understanding, as well.) Even the new budget couldn't accomplish the task of easing the fiscal pain we're feeling.

  • Inactive user

    The city just can't afford it anymore. It's that simple. People need to wrap their brains around the idea that for the last 20 years government has spent the money for the next 20 years.

    It's sad but it's reality.

  • g.w. a.p. resident

    Oh, Greg....if everyone hung their head and whimpered like you just did, we would be in a very, very sad state. In this, the wealthiest of countries, with the most enterprising people on earth, you'll have to own your own pessimism and leave those of us who are capable of undertaking productive changes to the task. Step aside please, step aside.

  • Inactive user

    Oh g.w. it's not ead hanging it's reality. Pretending we can keep spending money the city doesn't have is what has us where we are today. Spending money needs to be prioritized and posting the same thread over and over isn't going to change that.

    Police, fire, education are where the priorities should be. If fairs can pay the cost for the city services great, if not then we will just have to live with the larger fairs that can.

  • g.w. a.p. resident

    Ok, call it whatever you like, Greg...but, If everyone in the city felt that way, city counsel wouldn't have passed the infrastructure trust, which is innovative and quite an alternative method of financing our public needs. It opens up possibilities where there were none before. What we need is more private/public partnerships, more out-of-the-box thinking and more eager volunteers to help put these partnerships together to make things happen. We do not need pessimism, blanket dismissal of our ideas and more shoulder shrugging.

  • Inactive user

    We agree with Greg. Giving free city services for a private art show while property taxes skyrocket. Balance the city budget and then let's talk.

  • Inactive user

    GW why such a nasty response? This is a public site where people can share their views. "Step aside"? Are you kidding?

    I also believe making festivals pay their fair share is great! I totally disagree with your view but would never suggest you "step aside".

  • g.w. a.p. resident

    I'm sorry my response was a little unedited. It was not Greg I was telling to step aside, it was pessimism...negative thinking that there isn't any room for. I think festivals do pay their fair share and will continue to do so. However, we must realize that community partnership (underwriting by city officials is part of that, too) is a valuable piece of that payment.

    It is the axe falling on unsuspecting heads that is the problem here. This happened with no warning to the public and, though there's a public perception that these waivers were costing the city tens of millions of dollars, they weren't anywhere near that. Just the dental insurance for our city workers is more than that.

    When you consider that Millenium Park has a combined staff, performance and support budget for special events that runs into the $20 Million dollar range and, conservatively guessing, the special waivers across the city for all the small arts organizations is probably less than 1% of that venue's budget alone....well, c'mon...really?? I don't know about you guys, but a neighborhood without any culture isn't worth living in. The unintended fallout of this sweeping revision in typical aldermenic practice doesn't amount to a hill of beans. It's literally peanuts compared to the general budget. But, it does mean a lot more than just money to our individual communities.

    Without supporting the arts and the artists, we limit people's dreams and inspirations. It's not just good infrastructure that makes a city great....its a great population that does that...all of us. But, we all must be optimistic if we are to achieve anything worthwhile for our future, don't you think?

  • Inactive user

    We all apply different "value" to different activities. Be it arts, parks, education etc.

    When funding was cut for Wells Park many of the people who cared (myself included) opened their checkbooks to support projects/endeavors they felt were important.

    I would assume this same grass roots support will occur for any art festivals people really care about no?

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