Mayor Rybak writes "The $250,000 in funds the City of Minneapolis spends each year on public art is a tiny sum, given the important role the arts play in our community." (FYI, the other half of the funding for the fountains came from fees for city water, a fund dedicated to water-related projects.) And besides, the money for the project is entirely separate from the city's general fund, Rybak said, and has nothing to do with the local government aid money the city receives from the state.
I spoke to Rybak's Communications Director, Jeremy Hanson, and he added that considering what an important source of revenue the arts are for Minneapolis, the quarter-million dollar annual investment is really a good deal. And Mary Altman, the city's Public Arts Administrator, writes:
The City of Minneapolis annual public art budget is actually pretty small compared to most cities of our size. That is because most cities actually have much larger capital budgets--because their governments and government budgets are larger. (Most major cities manage a transit program, libraries--some even manage airports.)
I'm wondering when this conversation will go back to politicians bragging about how much money they spend on the arts, instead of having to defend it.
Tonight Wang Yanshu's exhibition of digital images called "Dreamland" goes on display at the Burnet Gallery, located in Chambers Hotel in Minneapolis. Yanshu, who lives and works in Beijing, writes:
"As I see it there is little pure color in our actual lives. Everything in our eyes, even in our hearts, is likely covered with a large murky gray veil. Only when closing our eyes and dreaming can we get to the one and only pure land which is doomed to pass away once we awake but leaves us a hazy memory, an engaging impression and a flash of memory. So I try my best to capture that wonderful dreamland in my photos."
The opening reception is from 6-9pm.
If your taste runs a little less colorful but more sentimental, check out the Robert Rauschenberg exhibition at the Weisman Art Museum, opening Saturday. The exhibition, titled "Au Courant," recreates an exhibition of newsprint collages that were shown in 1970 at the then Dayton's Gallery 12 in Minneapolis (this is before my time, but evidently the Minneapolis Dayton's had an international art gallery on the 12th floor in the late '60s and early '70s).
If you want to get out, Father's Day weekend marks the annual Stone Arch Festival in Minneapolis. The festival features artist booths, four performance stages, and even a few art cars on display.
"Nothing New" is going on at the Textile Center of Minnesota, and that's a good thing, at least for the environment. The Center's new exhibition, opening Friday night, features fiber art made entirely from recycled materials.
If the body moves you, TU Dance is premiering a couple of new works at the Southern Theater this weekend. Or you can enjoy Christopher Watson's Dance company in the great outdoors for FREE at Lake Harriet.
And for the science geek in all of us, there's "Robots vs Fake Robots," put on by Walking Shadow Theatre Company at the People's Center in Minneapolis. Here's their video trailer, which expresses more than I can possibly say:
If you still haven't found what you're looking for (I suddenly have a U2 song stuck in my head), check out what the Art Hounds of the air are doing this weekend.
Want to be an Art Hound? Sign up!
A jury ruled today that Brainerd resident Jammie Thomas-Rasset willfully violated the copyrights on 24 songs. The price tag? $80,000 per song, or $1.92 million. If you agree the average song lasts approximately three and a half minutes, that amounts to approximately $380 per second of downloaded music.
Thomas-Rasset says it's unlikely the plaintiffs (Warner Music Group Corp., Vivendi SA's Universal Music Group, EMI Group PLC and Sony Corp.'s Sony Music Entertainment) will ever see the money, since she's the mother of four kids and has little means.
So what does the decision mean for people who share music files on the web, and for the recording industry? Will it inspire these major corporations to pursue more lawsuits? Will it scare people off of file-sharing?
Some advocates of file-sharing say it doesn't hurt the music industry, and in fact many musicians make their songs available for free on the internet. So who will win out in the long run? Who are you supporting?