Challenge to City Council

It’s a classic pattern during difficult economics that the arts are the first to get cut. Yet, when an artist or arts group has success, it contributes more to the cultural life, the quality of life and positive appearance of a community than any other element.

When the arts get cut in school programs and community efforts, the creative spirit of a town is chipped away.

I challenge the members of the Auburn City Council to come up with an arts mandate, and show they have vision. Whether it is the Great Falls building or another place, this community needs and deserves a home for the arts.

A lack of vision, fear of investment and narrow-minded politics signal the death knell for one of the most vibrant arts hubs in the Twin Cities. This drab, business-first attitude is not what is needed to revitalize the economy, or people's spirits. What is needed is positive leadership that embraces the cultural life and spirit of the residents here and encourages regional investment.

A vibrant arts community draws investment, draws visitors and draws business. This has been proven in study after study.

Here in the Twin Cities, there is no state-of-the-art performing arts center that serves the community, or serves as a regional destination, but there is an existing structure, community support and, most importantly, the positive impact of the arts on children and families.

I fear the Grinch has taken over the City Council, and it’s a shame. Please prove me wrong.

Leland Faulkner, Auburn

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 's picture

I have a novel idea. Why not

I have a novel idea. Why not have all the liberal do gooders, so called (artists, etc) who are looking for something for nothing, buy a donkey and a cart and peddle your wares along roads in the countryside. Like other Gypsys do!

 's picture

Seems to me...

...that either you Jeremy or the letter writer have every right to form an NPO to support the arts in L/A. If you did so, than everyone that cares about the arts would have an outlet for their voluntary, tax-deductible donations.

 's picture

Who? Me?

Because I don't care enough about the arts to form an NPO or to have money taken from my taxes for the arts.

 's picture

seems to me

the taxpayer funding to subsidize the establishment was more than nickels and dimes, incurring more expense year after year. And how long is a "short-term loss"? Who is suffering the loss?

 's picture

Has anyone ever gone to an

Has anyone ever gone to an art show? Most artists at a show think they are Picasso, demanding an arm and a leg for what they consider art. Try lowering the prices, maybe then, will someone buy your work.

That said, I think Auburns council made the right decision. The city, (which is the taxpayer) should not be in the real estate business, nor should they be landlords.

 's picture


Are you saying your "arts" business cannot exist without a handout from the city? Who's problem is that? All you have to do is find a new space to rent, which should not be a problem for any successful business. If your "art" was so valuable you would be able to sell your art pieces/tickets/services for a profitable amount to the public. Basically, your problems are not the problems of the entire city of Auburn.

 's picture

It's all about nickels and

It's all about nickels and dimes for most of the commentators of the Sun Journal threads... shame.

It should be obvious that measuring revenue is not an accurate method of determining the value of arts. Ever heard of externalities? Did you even read the author's letter? About how arts attract business? It wasn't a lie. What about how most towns (L/A included) in Maine are always seeing their young leaving the state (or going to Portland) to start their lives - maybe because there's nothing to do in towns like Auburn? No culture to build ties?

As a business oriented person - shouldn't you understand how investment works? Sometimes it takes a short-term loss to make a long term gain.

 's picture

The city council had enough

The city council had enough 'vision' to cease wasting money trying to feed a dead horse.


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