I am writing to you today to voice my concern on your plan to cut public funding for the Arts. I feel confident that I am addressing not just a concern of mine but of the arts and cultural community as a whole.
I understand the need to cut back on spending during this hard economic time. However, Funding for the Arts is an important investment for Calgary as well as current and future Calgarians alike. Public Art is one of the many great things that have morphed t his city into an exciting metropolitan centre. Calgary has been named one of the top 5 most desired cities worldwide to live in. It is impressive that a city with a population just over 1 million in Alberta has developed such a worldwide reputation. With just 1% of city funding Calgary has created a place that is rich with a cultural, historical, and artistic community, putting it literally on the map for travellers, young professionals, educators, entrepreneurs and artists.
This city has been built by people who have moved here to build their lives and their careers because Calgary is known as place for innovation and limitless possibilities. Calgary has a fierce energy and has become memorable to visitors. Ask yourself the question, what do you remember the most when you visit a new place? The answer most likely will be the culture. Calgary’s culture is rooted in the Arts.
By cutting our public Arts we are taking a step back; descending from what we have set out to achieve. We must continue to evolve as a city; a place that will be on the map; a destination, a contemporary innovative progressive Canadian city; One that not only supports the Arts, but truly understands the value of a vibrant Art scene where the local people and businesses thrive.
Here is a link from New York Cities “Projects for Public Spaces” where they outline the benefits to public Art and culture within a cities infrastructure. how-art-economically-benefits-cities
By eliminating public Art funding we are not just taking away physical projects; we are suffocating a fire and an energy that the Arts fuels within the city.
Herringer Kiss Gallery