City leaders are considering a takeover of the nonprofit Foundry Art Centre to try to put the financially struggling facility on a more stable footing.
Assigning the Greater St. Charles Convention and Visitors Bureau, a city agency, to run the 11-year-old facility is among three options submitted to the City Council this month.
Another is continuing the city’s $110,000-a-year subsidy for five more years, with operations overseen by the center’s existing board. The subsidy was regarded as a temporary stopgap when the council began it in 2013.
The third option is a combination: providing the $110,000 subsidy but earmarking some of it to the convention bureau for “branding and marketing” of the art center.
This plan differs from some city plans, where the city decides it needs to have its own water park/fitness center/whatever to compete with the neighboring suburb and then finds out that the venture does not break even as promised.
Instead, the city here (and the media and noisemakers who like art but cannot be arsed to support the art center enough) want to take over a struggling, under-supported and probably underappreciated and underused facility. Which will cost more than expected, natch, so the city will have to either reallocate funding for it or propose a tax increase and put it on a ballot in April where nobody but the people who love art when someone else pays for their love of art can come out and vote to increase everyone’s taxes so they can go to the local art museum once in a while. Or at least they’ll live in a better city than St. Peters.
So this cycle continues.
Hey, it’s not that I don’t support the local niceties like libraries and symphonies and whatnot. But I put my money, voluntarily, where my heart is (in addition to that money required by law). I am in the friends of three or four local libraries; I support the local historical societies in three counties; and I’ve even briefly attended a local Symphony Guild fundraiser (and there’s a sad story in that, gentle reader, that I might someday tell).
I don’t ask or demand other people subsidize my interests. And, somehow, some people would fault me for that.