Save Art in State Buildings Program


At the writing of this editorial, the Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee is meeting (Thursday, March 5, 2009, from 10:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) to consider SB 1104; a bill which we feel should be opposed.

The Florida Cultural Alliance has alerted the cultural community and asked us to alert our readers to respond to the proposed SB 1104 by Senator Ronda Storms, R-10, who represents parts of Hillsborough, Pasco, and Polk counties.

This bill, if passed by 2009 Legislature and signed by the Governor, would repeal Florida’s Art in State Buildings Program, which reads:

Each appropriation for the original construction of a state building which provides public access shall include an amount of up to 0.5 percent of the total appropriation for the construction of the building, not to exceed $100,000, to be used for the acquisition of works of art produced by, but not limited to, Florida artists or craftspersons. Those works of art acquired shall be displayed for viewing in public areas in the interior or on the grounds or the exterior of the building and not in private offices or areas with limited public access.

Historic City News wants to encourage senators who serve on this committee to please VOTE AGAINST SB 1104.

The Cultural Alliance would like everyone to e-mail and call the Chair and Vice Chair of the Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee because they feel the committee needs to know that many people throughout Florida care about this issue and do not want Senate Bill 1104 to pass out of this committee.

To that end, we encourage our readers to learn more about this bill and Florida’s Art in State Buildings Program. If you feel, as we do, that this program is worthwhile, I would ask that you e-mail the senators listed below who represent your county. Their e-mail addresses and Tallahassee telephone numbers are listed below.

Historic City News supports jobs for artists and SB 1104 would eliminate jobs. Art in public places and, specifically, the Art in State Buildings program, add to the enjoyment and appreciation of art and encourage citizens to learn more about their own artistic abilities and interests.

For a very modest state investment, this program is part of the solution to economic diversification, development, and jobs for artists and the people employed with public art programs.

We feel that the public art purchased under this program appreciates in value every year. Not only does this art appreciate in monetary value, but all these works of public art draw positive attention to state buildings.

Public art gives residents and tourists reasons to visit, revisit and interact in state buildings.

We feel that public art demonstrates that our state believes in and supports public spaces where residents and visitors can connect, feel, think, and interact in an educational and inspiring environment where art plays a major role.

I would ask our readers to consider, if this bill passes, what does that say about Florida’s commitment to creativity and innovation?

Members of the Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee:

Mike Haridopolos, R-26 (850) 487-5056
Brevard, Indian River, Osceola, St. Lucie

Gary Siplin, D-19 (850) 487-5190
Vice Chairma
Orange, Osceola

Victor Crist, R-12 (850) 487-5068

Charlie Dean, R-3 (850) 487-5017
Baker, Citrus, Columbia, Dixie, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lafayette,
Leon, Levy, Madison, Marion, Suwannee, Taylor

Dennis Jones, R-13 (850) 487-5065

Jim King, Jr., R-8 (850) 487-5030
Duval,Flagler,Nassau, St.Johns, Volusia

Al Lawson Jr., D-6 l (850) 487-5004
Bay, Calhoun,Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf,J ackson, Jefferson, Leon,
Liberty, Madison, Wakulla

Jeremy Ring, D-32 (850) 487-5094

Let us know what you think >>