Colorado state Rep. Joe Rice, D-Littleton, at a town hall last month defended the practice that “one percent of state funded construction projects” go for public art.
“A lot of people say, well, why would we want to do that? Well, you heard [state Sen.] Linda [Newell] say… the creative industries is the fifth largest employer sector in Colorado, there’s 167,000 jobs in that sector. But even more than that, when we look at what makes a nice place to live . . . is it just cinder block buildings? If we wanted to build extremely cheap buildings and that sort of thing, we could do it, and most people, you know, it would look like East Berlin, or something you know, back in the Cold War days.”
I love art. That said, I don’t believe paying for – and supporting – art, is the government’s role. Particularly when facing an economic downturn, government should be limiting rather than expanding that role. [Democratic legislators in Colorado last session tweaked the decades-old law.]
I’m sorry, $650,000 for the evil blue horse of death with red demon laser eyes that greets us at Denver International Airport wasn’t worth it. And it’s not what the government should be doing today when people are trying to PAY THEIR RENT and PAY FOR FOOD.