Posted at 9:13 AM on June 1, 2011
by Marianne Combs
Filed under: Funding
Laura Zabel, Executive Director of Springboard for the Arts, knows very well just how important the arts are to a state's economy. And that's not just because it's her job.
Zabel grew up in Kansas, but upon graduation from college moved to Minnesota where there are more opportunities for artists. Zabel herself has proven to be a great asset to the Minnesota arts scene.
This past Saturday, the odds became even worse for Kansas artists; Governor Sam Brownback line-item vetoed funding for the Kansas Arts Commission (totalling $689,000), thereby making Kansas the first state without an arts agency.
Brownback justified the move by saying "In difficult fiscal times such as these, the state must prioritize how to spend its limited resources and focus its attention on providing core services."
For Zabel, the math just didn't add up. Today on minnesotaplaylist.com she's published an open letter to Governor Brownback, showing how her own decision to leave Kansas has translated to a financial loss for the state.
There's a financial consequence: In the last 13 years, I've paid approximately $22,000 in state income taxes and $15,000 in state sales tax. I bought a car, a house, had a wedding - all in Minnesota. That money could have gone to the Sunflower State instead of the Gopher State.
Beyond that, since I moved to Minnesota, my entire family has moved here, too. They moved here, in part, because they also care about the arts. None of them work directly in the arts, but they see cultural opportunity as a necessary part of a community they want to live in. So, three adult children who grew up in Kansas, took advantage of its public education and other services and then chose to pay their taxes, make their livelihood, volunteer, vote and serve in another state. Plus, two retired parents who made their whole careers in Kansas, who then chose to spend their retirement years and income in another state.
Just for the 5 members of my immediate family who have relocated to Minnesota, I estimate that Kansas has given up about $100,000 in state and sales tax income so far (not to mention the numerous other ways that we contribute to the local economy.) By that calculation, your veto of the Arts Commission budget only has to convince a handful of young, energetic college graduates that they'd be better off somewhere else for Kansas to be worse off financially because of this decision.
Zabel says in her 13 years in Minnesota, not one single person has questioned her decision to leave her home state; it was obvious to everyone that it was the right choice. And isn't that kind of sad for Kansas?
Thomas Rex Kemmer
Gerald Nelson, 420 Main Ave E
Thomas Rex Kemmer got his first skateboard when he was in fifth grade. It was a Variflex Terror, with an image of a wolf face on the bottom. Kemmer says he'll never forget that day, and the sense of adventure it gave him.
I've been skateboarding for about 23 years, and there's is nothing I love more than skating. The way it feels to cruise around on a board can be matched by no other activity on this planet.
The thing I love most about skating is the challenges. Not only the mental and physical challenges, but the social challenges as well. In most cities around the country skateboarding is an illegal activity. I say activity, because skateboarding is not a sport. It's a life style.
Thomas Rex Kemmer
Detail of Luke Hampton, 20 Shot Sequence
Now in his mid-thirties, Kemmer has transferred his love of skateboarding to the camera, capturing fellow skaters in action. Starting tomorrow, a collection of his images, called Local Spots, will be on display at the Plains Art Museum in Fargo.
The challenge and adventure is what drives me to shoot photos of skating today. I still love to skate, but now there's more challenge in capturing that moment in time, or that trick in history. The challenge is trying to give the images the feeling of being there, Jumping down ten stairs, or flying out of a ramp, experiencing that moment of weightlessness. It's also about staying connected to skating. It's not a sport; it's a life choice. It's something I'll do until the body breaks. Then I'll shoot more photos than ever.
Thomas Rex Kemmer
Blain Herman, Eric Hansen, Anthony Nabors, Linden Devine, Luke Hampton, 1131 NP Ave
As part of the exhibition, a ramp jam (skateboarding demonstration) will be held on 7th Street North in front of the Plains Art Museum on July 16, during Fargo's Downtown Street Fair.
Wednesday, June 15th is the official publishing date of Bob Mould's autobiography "See a Little Light: The Trail of Rage and Melody." Mould is known for his work in the bands Hüsker Dü and Sugar, as well as his own solo career. The autobiography is said to take on not only his punk rock days, but also his struggles with his homosexuality and his drug and alcohol addictions.
Now Magers & Quinn Booksellers has announced that Mould will be in the store reading from his autobiography on Tuesday, June 14th at 9pm.
In music speak, Magers & Quinn writes "It's an all ages show, and it's free."
Stay tuned - in the coming days MPR's Chris Roberts will talk with Mould about the autobiography.
The final two shows in the 2011 Minnesota State Fair Grandstand Concert Series have been confirmed; they are Weezer and The Carnival of Madness. So here's what the Grandstand run will look like:
•Reba with special guest Ronnie Dunn (Aug. 25)
•Def Leppard with special guest Heart (Aug. 26)
•Big Time Rush (Aug. 27)
•The Carnival of Madness Tour 2011 (Aug 28)
•Happy Together Tour 2011 (Aug. 29)
•Steely Dan with special guest Sam Yahel (Aug. 30)
•Toby Keith with special guest Eric Church (Aug. 31)
•Marc Anthony Live! (Sept. 1)
•A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor (Sept. 2)
•Weezer (Sept 3)
•Train and Maroon 5 with special guest Matt Nathanson (Sept. 5)
On Sunday, Sept 4, the Grandstand will host the Amateur Talent Finals.
Gertrude Stein was born in Oakland, California, but history will always remember her in her Paris flat, holding court with some of the finest modern artists, including Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. The walls of her apartment, and those of her siblings, were covered with paintings her family purchased for a relative song.
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has reunited more than 150 pieces that since the 1920s have been dispersed to private and public collections around the world.
PBS NewsHour's Spencer Michels has this look at the exhibition, and at Gertrude Stein:(1 Comments)