The Cultural Council Board of Trustees had their monthly meeting this afternoon at 4.
Obviously, there are storm clouds brewing over CEO Banchs’ abusive behavior toward ‘his’ Public Art division. Sonja Haller’s article last week, her follow-up this week, and Michelle’s mini-post today should all clearly illustrate that for you.
I wasn’t able to attend the SCC meeting this afternoon, unfortunately. However, my understanding is that,
- There were a BUNCH of Public Art supporters at the meeting who entered ‘public comments’ into the record regarding their concerns about how SCC and Banchs are treating Public Art.
- The Board of Trustees of the Cultural Council expressed both ignorance of the current conflict and ignorance of the Public Art Master Plan process. Both are inexcusable in my book. They can all read the newspaper just like we do.
- There were no decisions made (in the public portion anyway) about any personnel issues related to Public Art.
I wish I had more for you, but that’s all we know for now. I’ll be posting some more background on the Cultural Council Board of Trustees soon.
I was privy to one of the public comments that was read into the record. I’ll share that here:
My name is Kathy Littlefield and I am here this afternoon to read a brief statement from my husband, Vice Mayor Bob Littlefield, regarding the Public Art master planning process and the controversy surrounding that process.
I think we all agree that in today’s new economic environment the traditional formula for funding public art is no longer viable and, in order for Scottsdale’s award-winning Public Art program to survive and prosper radical changes in its structure and function will be required. This is exactly the challenge the Public Art master planning process was designed to address.
Unfortunately, that process has become mired in controversy and strife between some of the parties involved. Your task tonight is to find a way to rise above these challenges and move forward with this important process.
I believe the most productive way for you to accomplish this goal is to take four steps tonight:
- Appoint a task force to oversee the completion of the Public Art master planning process. This task force should include, at a minimum, representatives from the Scottsdale Cultural Council Board of Trustees, the Scottsdale Public Art Advisory Board, the general public and city staff. This membership would insure that all of the stakeholders are represented.
- Charge this task force to conduct their business in a series of public meetings to insure that all stakeholders have ample opportunity for input into the process and to insure the process is transparent.
- Make no changes in Public Art personnel at least until the direction the program is going to take is decided.
- Take advantage of the offer made by city staff to mediate the disputes between the various individuals involved in this process.
Contrary to what some might have you believe, I am absolutely committed to insuring the survival and prosperity of Scottsdale’s award-winning Public Art program. If you decide to take these four reasonable steps I pledge my total cooperation to achieve that important goal.
What’s your take on the Scottsdale Cultural Council and the $4 million dollars of taxpayer money they receive every year? Are we getting good value for that money? When is the last time you attended a Cultural Council event?