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No Art for the Arts District

Our Mylar Mayor’s plan for $50,000 water spewers is bumping against budget realities:

The plan for the controversial $50,000 fountains would be pared from 10 fountains to six under a staff recommendation that's up for debate Monday by a City Council committee. That's after the city has made turtle-like progress in moving ahead with the program, for which Rybak proposed earmarking money back in 2007.

The fountain spending has arisen repeatedly in the gubernatorial race as Republicans and bloggers have employed it to attack DFL contender Rybak as a profligate spender. But Rybak, who initiated the idea, has said it's both an effort to promote city water and to continue the city's program of earmarking 2 percent of its bricks-and-mortar spending on public art. Mary Altman, the city's arts administrator, said such arts spending is common in other cities and states.

Yes, Minneapolis can’t afford to maintain streets, but we have a full-time arts coordinator. And “everyone else is doing it” is not a mature defense of public policy.

As the City’s officially-designated arts district, Northeast (which includes the 55418) was alotted one of the ten spewers in the original proposal. Under-represented by share of population, but at least we weren’t forgotten this time.

Not anymore:

If rankings by the arts commission hold up, northeast Minneapolis would lose the only fountain for which it was slated, while greater downtown would lose three but still get two. South Minneapolis would get two more fountains, and the North Side would get one. Altman said she's hopes that outside money could still be raised for deleted fountains.

Sweet. We pay taxes for southside fountains but are left to raise our own money if we want public art in the Arts District.


Good to see that the Mayor wants to promote city water. One of those fountains should go where the water comes from. If only he knew which part of city....