Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mark Poloncarz for Erie County

Mark Poloncarz is running against Chris Collins for Erie County Executive. He is a friend of the arts and cultural organizations. Let's support him as best we can!

Here is some video I shot of him at a WI Union Solidarity Rally in February. Who needs a megaphone, anyway?

-Bob Van Valin

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Buffalo Common Council Hearing

From The Gusto blog of the Buffalo news...

Buffalo's Common Council gets an earful on the arts

Earlier this evening, many members of Buffalo's arts community gathered in the chambers of the Buffalo Common Council to make their case about the need for restoring city arts funding, which has been absent for more than a decade. The council already voted on a resolution authored by council member Michael LoCurto in support of allocating $300,000 for the Fund for the Arts (an alliance of local foundations), and council members expressed a hope that Mayor Byron Brown would include that funding in his budget.

(If not, Common Council President David A. Franczyk said he thought it would be possible for the council add in that funding and to gather the six common council votes needed should Brown veto that decision. But it hasn't come to that yet. Council member Michael Kearns, for his part, suggested allocating the money outside of the current budget process, which would avoid political tussling among a council and mayor that generally prefer to work together on budget matters.)

As has been typical of these meetings over the past several months, a wide range of cultural personalities made eloquent and forceful cases for investing public money in the arts. The usual suspects were there: Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center Executive Director Edumund Cardoni, Theatre of Youth Executive Director Meg Quinn, Music Is Art Executive Director Tod Kniazuk -- and they did their cause justice. But what set this meeting apart from some of the previous ones was the presence of a couple of impassioned and deeply informed younger voices who expressed what is becoming an increasing realization of Buffalo's very real potential to become a cultural center in the mold of Portland.

Out of the hour of speeches, these two, by actor Megan Callahan and curator and artist Jeff Maciejewski, are the highlights:

Listen to the full slate of speakers, which together represent an incontrovertible case for funding the arts at a far greater level than they're funded today:

--Colin Dabkowsk

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Agenda for 2011

(this is crossposted from the Facebook Group)

Welcome to 2011 everyone, we have a lot to do this year! Here are a few things:

1) We need to coordinate a good time for weekly/biweekly/monthly meetings. I guess if they are less often we can coordinate it when the time comes, but I would rather it be a regular thing.

2) Bonnie Jean Taylor is now the head of the Flash Mob Subcommittee, and can work on brainstorming ideas for future flash mobs. Whoever is interested in joining the committee is welcome. Once they have ideas, they can bring them to meetings to be discussed by the whole group.

3) Megan and I want to being to plan the collaborative arts festival that inspired this group. Everyone is invited to share ideas and input about it. The description can be read if you click "See All" next to Members on this page, then scroll down.

4) We need to figure out more ways to expose people to the arts who might not otherwise. This is a pretty broad topic so keep it in the back of your minds.

5) Chris Collins is up for reelection this year I believe, so politics is going to be a huge factor this year. We need to figure out ways to be influential without becoming overtly political or a "special interest."

6) I need to keep the blog updated and promote it. That's more of a personal reminder that I wanted to write down so I don't forget.

Feel free to comment if you have anything to add or want to discuss any of these points. Let's get a discussion going! The sooner we act, the sooner we can get things done.

-Bob Van Valin