Yooo hooo, Michael Nutter–pay attention to us

City Hall wavering, reflected in the PNC building (by Libby Aug. 2006)
City Hall wavering, reflected in the PNC building (by Libby Aug. 2006)

We’re wondering what happened to Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter’s campaign promise of reestablishing an Office of Arts and Culture and art czar. It’s like deja vu all over again. Make a promise, break a promise.

What’s the politics of it? We’re not sure. But we know that the longer the decisions linger–creating the office and naming its head–the more likely this is not going to happen for another year. The budget is due at the end of January. In which department will the budget line for art be? Or, in other words, will it be anywhere?

And when city union negotiations come up on the mayor’s agenda in a couple of months, fuggeddaboudit. The political and financial pressures will be enormous and the focus won’t be on art.

We don’t know how to solve this problem, but we do know there’s a committee stuck in the mud on the art czar decision. Can it be that politics will be the undoing of the larger art community because of political pressure from someone?

You can help!! Send an email TODAY to Nutter aide (name and email addresses removed–see post for why) and tell her time is a-wasting, and to please remember that the visual arts scene is having a golden age, right now. Failing to appoint and failing to create the office would be a missed opportunity — as well as a broken campaign promise. We in the visual arts community were counting on Nutter to make it right for the arts community when we gave him our votes. Raise your voices asap!


art czar, michael nutter



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