london arts budget
Contrasting the way that London contributes to the the arts will ultimately address funding deal with funding. We are currently seeing across the board cuts in the Libraries, Art Gallery, Arts Council. Meanwhile we watch Arts funding in London Ontario increase, not only by the city but also by the Private sector. Further on this post, I’ll show examples of where Windsor’s creativity trumps London
Municipal revenue is $951,000, Windsor’s contribution is 2/3 of that amount
If it gets final approval later this month, council's vote to contribute $160,000 to a recently established public art fund could usher in a new era and reinforce London's future as a creative city. The Mainstreet London Association paid $200,000 for the public art that is the multi colored tree art downtown
In Windsor we see arts funding significantly reduced, even the Capital Theater dispute has funding as its root cause.
I am not one to simply want my tax dollars thrown at the arts, but we have to acknowledge what other cities are doing to find best practices. Secondly, there are ample opportunities to contribute to the arts with little or no cost by the city. One source I found that has not seen a dollar spent on Windsor is www.businessforarts.org.
One thing I see advantageous for Windsor over London is the fact that we seem to do things for a fraction of the cost of London. A couple of examples include downtown security camera’s up costing $30,000 per year while London’s program cost $200,000 or London’s Ambassador program spent $51,000 for a promotional video, while the DWBIA was able to make a much better promotional video for far less cost.\
Right Now, Londons’ struggling TAP (The Arts Project) cost hundreds of thousands while local artist Christian Aldo his own version of an arts incubator by creating Galleries displaying the work of local artists on Pelissier simply by working with building owners and artists with no other assets than his colourful and dynamic character. This initiative deserves its own attention and kudo's to Mr. Aldo
Before she left, Judith Veresuk proposed the idea of cladding the stark white new planters downtown with mosaic tile art. Implementing this public arts partnership with business could be a testament to Mrs. Veresuk downtown efforts.
Think of Cartunes, businesses could sponsor the winners from an art competition to decorate the planters like they did with Cartunes, except this time they would get far more than a one year bang for their art donation. We would have a permanent display of their contribution.
Secondly, the DWBIA has already committed $100,000 additional to maiden lane streetscape to turn it into a “European” style road with the plumbing infrastructure for a fountain in the center. No funds have been allocated or raised for the actual fountain. The DWBIA needs to come up with terms of reference and criteria for this fountain design. After that a design competition should also be conducted for this fountain to become another proud piece of public art.
Separately, the best thing Windsor could do for the arts is to coordinate grant writing between the different groups. This position was filled by Ed Agnew before but there needs to be a “311” type program to access this moneys.