Good news for arts spending, as long as Rob Ford doesn’t get elected
Good news is a rare treasure in the arts community in these post-recession days, which is why yesterday’s city hall executive committee vote to stay the course on its long-term funding strategy is almost champagne worthy. The plan calls for a raise in arts spending from $18 per capita to $25 per capita by 2013 . We say almost because it’s an election year. Rocco Rossi and Joe Pantalone have expressed their support for increasing arts spending, but the current mayoral front-runner Rob Ford is unlikely to approve such a plan given his hate-on for bureaucracy. The city council will vote later this month and, according to the Star‘s Martin Knelman, is expected to give the bump a thumbs-up, but there’s no guarantee the money will actually be spent by the incoming mayor’s council, since these are just targets.
When the plan on the table now was originally put in place seven years ago by Rita Davies, the city’s executive director of culture, it proposed a raise from $13 per capita to $25 per capita by 2013. So, in seven of the target’s 10-year time line, the city’s gotten less than half way there. But the disappointment is way worse when we compare to other cities. According to Knelman, Montreal spends $33 per capita on culture and in 2003, San Francisco spent a whopping $86 per capita on culture. Well, at least the HuffPo thinks we’re doing alright.