Taking the grumbling about the percent for arts in a new direction

Councilman Bob Beers wants the council to vote each year on arts funding.

It’s been almost a month since Las Vegas Councilman Bob Beers announced an ordinance to repeal the City of Las Vegas’ automatic percent for arts funding, but the grumbles from locals are still audible.

One question: why grumble about a lone philistine on the bench when there is so much more to lament? For example, the art itself. Aside from Tim Bavington’s “Fanfare for the Common Man” at the Smith Center, there’s nothing outstandingly fantastic in terms of public art.

The late Dennis Oppenheim’s paintbrush sculptures in the Arts District are a horrible reminder of the bait-and-switch the artist played on the city. Area banners, streetscapes and interior projects have been successful in helping create identity and community pride, but it’s time to get people out of their cars and talking. This is Las Vegas. We can be innovative. Maybe we can’t afford an Anish Kapoor-level of excitement, but certainly we can drum up some sort of visual profundity that will stir the masses and demonstrate our creative might.

Blow our minds, why don’t ya?

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Kristen Peterson

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