Are we being extorted by art? | Page 2

Discussion in 'Politics (Toronto Issues)' started by Glen, May 4, 2009.

  1. GraphicMatt

    GraphicMatt Looking forward to a FRESH START for Toronto

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    I wasn't talking specifically to you, but your point is noted!


    The arts have become an economic driver in Toronto - whose to say we don't have the money?

    Keynesian economics does work, by the way -- no matter what the NDP in Saskatchewan does.
     
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  2. Prometheus The Supremo

    Prometheus The Supremo ►Member №41+⅜◄

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    what does that have to do with art? that sounds more like advertising?
     
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  3. Hydrogen

    Hydrogen post-young

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    I'm just curious about the 17 inspectors. Are they to be city employees? If they are, they may very well be MLS inspectors, and will then have multiple duties beyond looking at billboards.

    CAn someone cite some documents?
     
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  4. Glen

    Glen Senior Member

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    Fund raising, it appears.
     
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  5. Prometheus The Supremo

    Prometheus The Supremo ►Member №41+⅜◄

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    so 17 inspectors need to be hired just to inspect billboards for art fund raising?
     
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  6. Hydrogen

    Hydrogen post-young

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    I'm thinking this thread should be extorted by art...
     
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  7. adma

    adma Superstar

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    Some might say that Toronto was being extorted by Art back in the 80s

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. MattAlexander

    MattAlexander New Member

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    Artists spend money in the economy just like everyone else with a job, the difference is that they aren't creating disposible widgets or pushing paper around.

    When government puts money into public art the Public gets some art (which makes the city a nice place to be) the money goes to a local artist who spends it locally and the cash flows throughout the economy.

    The only "downside" is that when the government gives money to an artist it necessarily isn't giving that money to something "real" like road maintenance or something, except that it is, in the form of the taxes paid by everybody else who touches that money.
     
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  9. Glen

    Glen Senior Member

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    The only downside is if it comes at the expense of something else. Like affordable housing, welfare, pools for kids, etc.

    Again, the issue is not "should we be supporting the arts", but to what extent and has the lobby garnered to much influence.
     
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  10. lesouris

    lesouris Active Member

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    This funding goes to many different programs and events with different purposes and different benefits to the city. You're lumping arts events, programs for disadvantaged youth, public arts and park beautification, and housing for artists all into one category. It would be like lumping funding for pools, sewage, cleaning rivers, etc. all into one category because they have to do with water.

    Each program brings something to the city financially. For example, by supporting artists, the city (in a way I suppose) supports gentrification. The relationship between artists and gentrification is well documented, and gentrified more desireable neighbourhoods bring in more tax dollars to the city through property tax, etc. Having a strong arts community makes Toronto a more attractive place for all kinds of investment.

    In short, when discussing arts funding we must also keep in mind the money the arts bring in, not just what we put out. We spend this money for reasons other than just for the sake of art.
     
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  11. Glen

    Glen Senior Member

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    I didn't lump them together, the proposed allocation of funds did.

    I am not arguing with that. The question is, and remains, is this the best use of the funds? If the goal is economic development, are more direct measures a better choice? Toronto supports the arts far more than its neighbours, yet is a laggard in economic growth.

    I agree with that. I Just think that there comes a saturation point relative to spending.
     
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  12. BoGoWo

    BoGoWo New Member

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    you ninny; to start with art and culture is "everything' it's what you do, and who you are! Having yelled that, the 'taxes' you are talking about are "fees" for advertising billboards, which will be money slipped out of the deep pockets of huge corporations, and used to beautify the City, through its dispersion to City wards, etc.
    None of it comes out of your pocket, or development fees; it simply benefits you as it does all other Torontonians. [remedial reading course recommended!]
     
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  13. Glen

    Glen Senior Member

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    You provide a perfect example in how once an issue is turned into a 'motherhood' issue, the capacity for reasoning is lost.

    Art and culture is 'everything' as much a science and health is. Would you care to share how art is more 'everything' than science?

    For the most part I have been referring to the money in questions as 'funds'. In a city that has a structural deficit, for many years running and projected into the future, the differences are highly semantic. Suggesting that since the funds come from the 'deep pockets of huge corporations' therefore questioning their disbursement is frivolous, demonstrates the forces which shaped Toronto's poor economic health.
     
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  14. EnviroTO

    EnviroTO Senior Member

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    Everything comes at the expense of affordable housing, welfare, pools for kids, etc. If you buy a transit bus you could have fed a lot of people instead. It is all about balance and I don't think the current arts spending is out of line. Toronto is playing catch-up to some degree with other cities which have had art added to their public spaces over a much longer period of time. I think that part of the reason the city makes deals with developers and businesses to create public art is that they can probably convince them to spend more, without as much argument, for art which they and their customers can see benefit in. To simply demand more taxes for a minor zoning variance might look like the city is simply extorting them and could lead to legal battles and OMB appeals. It also gives politicians something permanent to show to voters for their efforts. Citizens typically view taxes and fees as negatives but getting businesses to give the community a permanent art gift probably doesn't have the same negativity surrounding it. I also suspect that part of the reason the city would prefer to have a situation where deals with the city on zoning isues leads to art funding is that at budget time there are more pressures to play art against other spending priorities, so shifting the spending away from budget time makes it easier to give arts the funding the city would really like to.
     
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  15. Glen

    Glen Senior Member

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    That's a good answer.
     
    #30

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