At slashing quality, Walker is an artist | WisCommunity

At slashing quality, Walker is an artist


[img_assist|nid=39509|title=Aaron Bohrod|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=73|height=100]So, apparently, artists don't have jobs and don't work, because Scott Walker doesn't plan on creating any more of them. Indeed, he's planning to cut their numbers in our culturally rich state.

Matt Hrodey at Milwaukee magazine notes that Gov. Scott Walker’s 2011-13 budget would slice and dice Wisconsin Arts Board funding by 73%. The board's grants to artists and art institutions go to hundreds of projects around the state. The state already ranks near the bottom in grants to the arts. So much for the Wisconsin Idea.

Former Lieutenant Gov. Barbara Lawton, who still serves as chair of the board, told Hrodey the cuts will severely hurt a program that helps attract new businesses to the state. Worse, the independent board would have its grant-making powers and other duties transferred to the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, where arts monies could be used for other purposes -- or maybe, to implore out-of-staters to "Escape to Wisconsin Arts," even as those arts escape elsewhere. From Hrodey's online piece:

Currently, the Arts Board exists as a separate state entity, governed by a 15-member board composed of representatives from around the state, appointed by the governor for three-year terms. Under Walker’s budget, the Arts Board would be disbanded and reformed as a program within the state Department of Tourism. Lawton describes this as a precarious arrangement, saying that the arts funding left intanct by the budget – which would be classified as “marketing” funding under the Tourism Department – could be used for non-arts purposes.

The Arts Board, which currently enjoys statutory protections as a separate state agency, would lose them and become “greatly at risk for a change of focus,” she says.

So under Walkerism, Wisconsin won't just become a dumber and more impoverished place for middle and lower income people, it will become a more culturally impoverished place, too. Beam us up, Scotty.




March 23, 2011 - 10:09am