Sunday, July 24, 2016

Middletown Lawmakers Pick Tax Payer Pockets While Hailing Funding for the Arts

The Middletown Insider supports the arts.  We promote the Norma Terris Theater, the Goodspeed Opera House, Art-Farm, etc. without being asked or compensated.  But, this is ridiculous!  Local state law makers are picking the pockets of tax payers from around the state to support local programs that benefit very few people and then pat themselves on the back for it, making specious claims about "investments" "insuring the survival of arts".  This state is broke and in debt, yet they put us further in debt during an election year in order to score political points with low information voters.
Press release:

State Representative Matthew Lesser (D-Middletown), Rep. Joseph Serra (D-Middletown), Sen. Dante Bartolomeo (D, Meriden, Middletown) and Sen. Paul Doyle (D-Wethersfield, Middletown) announced state grants for seven Middletown arts programs.

“I am proud to see this state investment in Middletown arts programs,” Rep. Lesser said. “Middletown has an artistic soul that is exhibited through these artistic endeavors.”  (Lesser is "proud" of everything he touches.)

The funding, administered through the state Department of Economic and Community Development’s Office of the Arts, was secured through several grant programs.  (In order to "grant" money for the arts, or any other purpose, money has to be taken out of the pockets of  . .  . tax payers.)
“As budgets have tightened at the state and local levels, the arts have been an easy target for cuts in schools and elsewhere over the years. That’s why it is such welcome news that the state Department of Economic and Community Development has announced these investments in Middletown. This funding will be used in classrooms and at many organizations throughout our community, touching the lives of students and artists, whose work and performances will reach out and impact the community at large – something we need now, possibly more than ever,” said Sen. Bartolomeo.
(What sort of return, and in what form, will the tax payers see?)

Middletown recipients included:
Artists for World Peace Supporting Arts in Place                $5,461.00
City of Middletown Arts & Culture           Supporting Arts in Place                $9,592.00
Green Street Teaching & Learning Center             Arts Learning     $20,000.00
Greater Middletown Chorale     Supporting Arts in Place                $3,792.00
North End Arts Rising, Inc.            Supporting Arts in Place                $3,227.00
Oddfellows Playhouse   Supporting Arts in Place                $4,651.00
Wesleyan University/Ctr for the Arts      Arts & Community Impact            $10,000.00

“Funding for the arts is extremely competitive at this time, and so I am pleased that the Department of Economic and Community Development has recognized the value of Middletown’s many venues, organizations and programs that are dedicated to ensuring that art survives and thrives in our community,” said Sen. Doyle.  (If they are so valuable and thriving, why is it necessary to pick the pockets of tax payers from across the state to keep them afloat?)

“The arts and arts education play a critical role in the success of communities, and Middletown will benefit from this funding,” Rep. Serra said. “The impact of these grants will be felt in some way by everyone in town, and I thank all those who made this funding possible.” (Please explain the critical roll arts education plays in the success of a community, and define what "success" means.)

DECD grant programs, including the Arts Learning Project Grants (which provide funding up to $20,000 to support arts in education-based projects for birth to grade 12); Arts & Community Impact Project Grants (which provide funding up to $20,000 for projects that connect the intrinsic value of the arts to identifiable community needs, interests or opportunities); and Supporting Arts in Place Grants (which provide general operating support to eligible arts organizations and municipal art departments), distributed the funding.  ($20,000 to support arts in education-based projects for birth to grade 12 . . .  birth?  Really?  How will a new born benefit from an arts in education-based project, and what is an arts in education-based project?)

Richard Price
House Democrats Press Office
Office: 860-240-0071
Mobile: 860-729-7692

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