Yah know, anytime the arts or arts funding hits the editorial sections of the Record, really awful conversations come to light. Here are some key issues that I feel pretty strongly about.
1- The arts aren’t an option. They are a social necessity.
2- Arts in Waterloo Region are critically underfunded. All of them. From the big institutions to the innovative individual artists, there isn’t enough money.
3- WRAF is one of the last things in this city that is for artists by (in large part) artists. A jury of one’s peers is the best way to decide on funding. If you don’t get a grant, it’s because you need to improve your application (I also imagine they are flooded with applications. It’s a tiny amount of money for a very large community). I like that there are artists on this decision making board. I sure trust them more than most.
4- The jury of WRAF should receive an honorarium for their work. Just like any proper jury.
5- Most cities have arts councils with paid experts instead of this constant reliance on volunteers. If we are to really get anywhere, we need advocacy and we should have people paid to do this.
6- We will never all agree, and that is a good thing.