By Chris Butler, Tennessee Watchdog, NASHVILLE — Let’s try making sense of this, shall we? Nashville
officials offer subsidized housing to local artists on the pretense it’s
the only way to keep artisans in the city. They live in the Ryman Lofts, in one of Nashville’s most expensive areas downtown. These same city officials have given away nearly $1.5 million in
taxpayer money so out-of-state artists can create abstract art that only
hard-core art connoisseurs may appreciate.
Attention Nashville City Hall: We have local resources for this kind of thing.
And why is it the taxpayers’ job to fund any of this, especially art?
As Tennessee Watchdog reported, Nashville’s Metro Art Commission has forced taxpayers to pay all this money for the following abstract sculptures:
- “River Concept,” meant to symbolize the meandering nature of the Cumberland River.
- “Tool Fire,” a collection of shovels, rakes and pickaxes welded together to somehow symbolize relief efforts following the 2010 floods that devastated Nashville.
- Large colored sticks placed partially upright on display near the Music City Center downtown to pay homage to the Native Americans who originally settled Middle Tennessee.
- “Ghost Ballet” in front of LP Field to symbolize, possibly, a Six Flags ride from Hell.
They do this because they think they know what’s best for us common folk. And the only way they can make that happen is with taxpayer money.
Let’s address another problem. You’re on vacation in Savannah, Ga., or perhaps New Orleans.
You want to sample the local culture and absorb it before you head home. Obviously, local culture includes art. Wouldn’t you rather take in art that came from a local as opposed to someone on the other end of the continent?
|Photo courtesy Nashville Metro Arts Commission|
Granted, from the free market point of view it’s still an undesirable option — Government has no place whatsoever subsidizing art. Why does the city of Nashville even have a Metro Arts Commission? But this option would save Nashville taxpayers some money and at least give them, as well as tourists, locally produced art. We’re taxpayers, and our views merit respect. It’s nothing personal, we just want to save some money.