Every politician will tell you he or she supports the arts. I personally would love to see a new arts center in Hoboken that gives our citizens the opportunity to display their creative insights.
However, the real issue is that our government cannot support every artist. Therefore, it must use its limited resources to decide which artists to support. Such decisions if not properly managed may lead to community friction. Therefore, we need to be careful.
When promoting the arts we need to make sure that (1) politicians do not determine which art we support; (2) policies and procedures we use to support art are viewpoint neutral; and (3) the decision to support art rests with a politically independent body that evaluates art in a viewpoint neutral way.
I applaud Mayor Dawn Zimmer for promoting the arts in Hoboken. Citizens can read about the Mayor’s efforts in an article posted to the city web site on April 14, 2011 titled “Mayor Zimmer Highlights Efforts to Preserve and Expand the Arts.”
I also applaud the City Council which “voted for a measure that will allow a prospective developer to conduct studies for a new arts center in the northwest area of the city.” (Smith, Ray. “Making Room for the Arts.” Hudson Reporter. May1, 2011).
But I urge careful consideration of the three points I just raised.
2nd Ward Resident