3 thoughts on “Crackdowns on Immigration, Arts Funding Threaten City’s Cultural Menu

  1. With all due respect, Director for the Center for Traditional Music & Dance Peter Rushefsky and Deputy Director Maureen Loughran must have a puppy in this fight, so to speak. Their opinions are compromised because they are paid employees. And taxpayers (government grants) are the source of their paychecks.

    While they describe the CMTD work as having noble ends, public support is nice but not necessary. Unpleasant truth: such funds often support work of questionable quality. Yes, there are standards. Not every craftsman is equally talented. Let the market determine what work merits support, not a committee.

    • With all due respect Dolores…. in my experience, which includes 30+ years in world dance/music as well as teaching in public schools and other even more decently paid employment, the directors of this exemplary immigrant focused arts organization should be honored for their service to America. The arts leaders in our immigrant communities have often dedicated and sacrificed themselves for a lifetime to public service, often working for the equivalent of $3.00 per hour to scrape up even meager support for these important community building arts here in America. They are above reproach.
      Yes government grants are important for the arts, but often only serve as meager seed money. The investment made in the arts from government grants may be small (about $5.00 annually per taxpayer) but that small investment pays rich dividends – yes, even measured in actual $$$. It is estimated that here in California each dollar invested through federal funds in the arts returns ten times that amount in business revenue through tourism and to other local businesses. That money is fed directly into the local economies and results in tax income that benefits all Americans.
      Advocating for federal investment in the arts actually makes sound business sense. The hard working men and women who continue to serve this mission deserve all of our support and respect.
      It is my strong belief that the arts and education are some of the highest forms of social service. Even more necessary in this time we live in are the arts that celebrate and build our “unity through diversity” within our communities, arts groups who so often overlooked by mainstream funders, deep pocket donors, and the “free market” (i.e. commercial) sources.
      Thank you

  2. Dolores, I invite you to come to a CTMD event this friday evening at 7PM, at the New School. I believe you’ll see the teachers of the FolkCOLOMBIA Escuela –a CTMD initiative–present what do they do at a masterful level: provide educational material and edification to audiences from diverse backgrounds; professionally perform traditional Colombian dance and music artfully; and, ultimately, serve communities, by sharing knowledge of Colombian culture, at a time of cultural fragmentation and compartmentalization.

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