Past Comments 

March Issue 2009
by Tom Starland

The Call For Money

I can truly say I was shocked when our first check came in the mail just two days after our Feb. issue hit the streets. It was one of those warm fuzzy moments when you can say - "Hey, people do care, and at the same time, one of those embarrassing moments when you say - Eeee Gads, we're down to asking people for money!"

As of this writing, more have come - not a snow fall of checks as one contributor had hoped, but we're happy to receive any help and we have learned over the years - things take time to sink in - especially in the visual art community.

We're thinking of doing an ad in the paper listings all the names of those people giving money (no amounts) to acknowledge those who have given, but we need to check with them first, to see how they feel about it.

I must say I was disappointed that I didn't receive one check from anyone at the SC Arts Commission - after all the free publicity I've given them over the years. You would think they would want to help me out - who will talk about them if I should be out of action? But, I'm aware of their financial problems.

Arts Commission Wiped Out?

You can read more about this possible tragedy on my blog, Carolina Arts Unleashed, found at ( or by putting your favorite search engine to work. But, here's the basics in a nut shell. The SC Arts Commission is telling SC Legislators that if they don't receive "another" one-time hit of $500,000 + everything they have accomplished in the last forty years will be wiped out. This "one-time" injection of money - which they have received twice now is so critical to the Commission's overall budget that they warn if they don't receive this "one-time" funding for a third time - they will be forced to cut the funding they give select non-profit arts groups in SC - to a 65% reduction level.

It's hard to see this as anything but a threat to those non-profits they fund. Sending a warning that if you don't raise heck with your local legislators and we don't get this money - you're the ones who will suffer, as we have seen the Arts Commission isn't cutting staff in these tough budget times.

It is also hard to see how the Arts Commission can function at any level as a public servant if they don't receive this "one-time" funding - a third time. Especially if it will wipe out 40 years of their efforts and reduce funding to a 65% level. It's like they're saying - if you don't give us this extra funding you might as well shut us down all together and sell our building - or is it? It seems to me they're saying - if you don't give us this money - other people will suffer - we'll still be here.


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Carolina Arts is published monthly by Shoestring Publishing Company, a subsidiary of PSMG, Inc. Copyright© 2009 by PSMG, Inc., which published Charleston Arts from July 1987 - Dec. 1994 and South Carolina Arts from Jan. 1995 - Dec. 1996. It also publishes Carolina Arts Online, Copyright© 2009 by PSMG, Inc. All rights reserved by PSMG, Inc. or by the authors of articles. Reproduction or use without written permission is strictly prohibited. Carolina Arts is available throughout North & South Carolina.