Tuesday, November 1, 2005
I read with interest the comment that the Public Art Steering Committee thought that "a private nonprofit organization should not be in charge of distributing public dollars" (Steamboat Today, Oct. 28). The arts council is an IRS-designated 501c3 nonprofit organization. So are Horizons, Strings in the Mountains, Winter Sports Club and many, many other local organizations -- all of which receive varying degrees of public dollars used to fund programs or activities that benefit the community.
These organizations are not private, and their records of meetings, budgets, etc., must be open to the public. In my 30 years of experience in this community, it's a lot easier to get information and straight answers from the nonprofits than from the local government! And why not use a system that's already in place -- the Arts Council's Art in Public Places Program?
If the city has to create a program, it will take months to develop guidelines, specifications, ordinances, conflict of interest statements, qualifications for commission members, hire a new staff member, etc. If ground up, the blizzard of paperwork "needed" to create a new commission, would provide a skiable base for Howelsen Hill!
Finally, I am positive that it would be much easier to convince people to make donations for the match to the Arts Council than to the city of Steamboat Springs.