From the publisher...
Making Our Voices Heard
However we may feel about the interminable onslaught of election news,
it is impressive to note how many different voices are being heard.
Yet there remains an armored bastion that democracy has yet to pierce:
the one that surrounds Louisville's and Kentucky's funding
for the arts.
Every year, we make impassioned pleas to get our fine, smaller arts
organizations their fair share of the money, and every year, those
pleas fall on deaf ears. Those few mega-orgs with million-dollar
budgets still get million-dollar allotments, although they can't
seem to operate within them. They run up deficits, knowing that there
will be more money where that came from. Meanwhile, those persons
empowered to make the funding decisions operate behind a thick wall
of secrecy. The result? Our independent theatres, who would be delighted
to receive a $5,000 (or even a $500) gift, get nothing — and
no one will tell us why.
Since August, the weekly newspaper LEO has been in possession
of notes for an investigative article on funding
for the arts, yet the story has not run. Reports
differ as to the reason, but it seems to be due
to petty internal squabbles. I am surprised by this, as LEO had
previously been unflagging in its support for Kentuckiana's
independent theatre, as well as for the people's
right to know. TheatreLouisville respectfully calls
upon LEO to
release this story now, before the gates to funding
slam shut for another year. If our supportive media
won't speak up for us, who will?
We also call upon our daily papers, and especially The Courier-Journal,
to look beyond the big numbers. Every year, a sizable
block of space is given to naming those organizations
that were (again) approved for the mega-grants. This year, we challenge
the papers to also name those who were turned down. Covering only
one side of a story isn't covering it at all, and "more of the same"
is not news.
Ultimately, though, the metaphorical buck stops here, and we must
all speak up for ourselves. As theatre people, our voices are loud
and our confidence is strong. If you agree that over-funding the
over-funded is not the way to go, write to the mayor, the governor
and your elected officials. Let them know.
In a grand and glorious chorus, our swell of voices will be
— A.S. Waterman
Copyright © 2008 A.S. Waterman. All rights reserved.