Arts and culture

Don't support Langston Hughes Arts Center over valuable programs

Do not transfer money from the Office of Arts and Culture to Parks and Recreation. Money that is spent through the OAC is economic development- providing jobs, creating events- all of which maintains jobs, stimulates revenue, spending, tourism and taxes. Langston Hughes is mostly an inactive organization that does not make the same impact (audience numbers and quality of life impact) that the hundreds of organizations served by OAC do. The organization has had an enormous amount of controversy and continues to struggle with important issues of sustainability, artistic excellence, diversity and civic involvement. It doesn't make sense to close or limit operating hours of community centers and libraries, all of which have broad community impact, while continuing to support an arts center whose programs are diminishing and audience continues to shrink. According to their show programs, Langston Hughes receives less each year from individuals and public foundations. Funders and individuals don't seem to think it's worth the investment so why does the city? Yes, African Americans deserve culturally specific programming and they are better served by the CD Forum for Arts and Ideas, African American Museum and others. If the city wants to better serve the African American community (I believe they should), they'd be better off outsourcing the work to more credible and active organizations and save significant dollars in the process.

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Idea No. 451