Monday, May 26, 2008

RI "Tightens" Arts Budget...cuts $100k bird recording

Yes, indeed, those absolutely necessary art projects must be torn from the budget whilst lawmakers fight back the tears....a few examples:

Link HT: Governing

PROVIDENCE — First there were the $84,000 neon lights on the side of the Rhode Island Convention Center.

Then there was the $100,000 recording of birds chirping outside the new Kent County Courthouse.

And who can forget the proposed $500,000 cloud machine that would have floated into the terminal at T.F. Green Airport years back?

When it comes to using taxpayer dollars for public art installations, some lawmakers say it’s time to cap the amount of money spent.

A state law enacted 20 years ago requires that at least 1 percent of the construction budget for any new or expanded state building be set aside for an art installation that will make the building more inviting.

The idea was to promote the arts in well-traveled public spots and the law has helped place dozens of sculptures, paintings and murals around the state, in addition to the more unusual pieces.