Friday, February 13, 2009

zippo in michigan

michigan's state budget will come down hard on the arts in fiscal 2010. 'cause really, who needs arts programs for kids? and the news comes from a democratic governor. i wonder how jeff daniels feels about this:

"Gov. Jennifer Granholm's budget director, Bob Emerson, announced today that the administration will recommend eliminating nearly all arts-and-culture grants for the upcoming fiscal year, according to ArtServe Michigan, the statewide nonprofit that promotes the arts.

The elimination would slam groups great and small, from an arts program for kids in the Upper Peninsula, Keweenaw Krayons, to the Detroit Institute of Arts."

my home state is right across the lake. who's next?
UPDATE 2/14/09 - here's your answer.
(hat tip christopher)


  1. isn't there $50 billion in the stimulus package that's ear-marked for the NEA, tony? thought i read that on my conservative cousin's blog. sad. madison rep too. what IS next? i had a thought the other day of artists - playwrights, actors, novelists, sculptures, painters, bloggers (ha)- roaming the woods engaged in their respective in a communal setting as portrayed in the book, Fahrenheit 451. i'm optimistically scared....seriously. heard on NPR today that calls to suicide hotlines are up 35% at one center. not suicides, but stressed people in need of help.

  2. i have so many friends, close friends, who are struggling right now. not just struggling, but "i can't pay my bills" stuff.

    a friend called the other day from the east village, in tears. he'd gone to apply for a job waiting tables - "a job i have done before, and done well" he said. he thought there might be 10 or 15 people there to apply that day, but there were 70-100. standing in line.

    my neighbor is working two jobs just to scrape by, and even she confessed, "i'm exhausted, and i don't know how i'm going to pay next month's rent."

    nearly every friend i have who works in administration at major theatre companies around the country says the same thing: even if it looks like we are doing okay, we have had to lay off staff, pare down the number of shows we do, do shows with smaller casts / bands, cut summer theater programs, cut student performances.

    it goes on and on.

    but let's argue about nancy pelosi's mice.

  3. The time has come to stop f-ing around. Put Jeff Daniels in front of the cameras Monday morning for a press conference denouncing the cuts. Have every arts organization put every board member on notice to either send their elected officials a letter immediately or find out what "joint and collective liability" means when companies start to fold under deficits like you've never seen. Get every stagehand, carpenter, and electrician on the phone to their rep to tell them that THEIR job in the arts is a REAL JOB. Call out every visual artist to join at the steps of the capital building to pour paint on the stairs in a show of protest. Call for a DAY WITHOUT ART: No shows, no concerts, every museum closed, every painting removed from every public space, every mural covered over, every statue draped in tarps, every radio station silenced, every TV in test pattern all day, every movie theater darkened, every librarly closed, every book removed from every shelf, every ad, poster, painting, flyer torn down, every artist working multiple jobs to make ends meet walks off the job at noon to stand in SILENCE before the steps of the capital to demonstrate the void left by the destruction of the arts in Michigan.

    And every blog and website posting just one item:
    364 TO FOLLOW

    Time to stop pussyfooting around and remind them who invented Drama.


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