The Museum of Glass is on John McCain's shit list for receiving stimulus money.
Senators Tom Coburn and McCain just issued their third list of what they consider misuse of federal stimulus dollars. The report is called Summertime Blues, "100 stimulus projects that give taxpayers the blues".
According to the report, arts projects are apparently a waste across the board. Here's the entry about Tacoma:
"Hot Glass - Cool Art, $50,000 - The Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Wa. received $50,000 in stimulus money to retain two part-time educational interpreters who will entertain visitors by explaining how glass is made in the museum's ‘Hot Shop' One hot shop interpreter says of the job ‘I get to watch glass get blown all day. It's a pretty sweet gig.' However, the museum's website notes that it may not be experiencing an economic hardship at all. ‘In this time of economic uncertainty, our attendance is on the rise, among both adults and school groups. There is increased traffic on our website and live stream of the Hot Shop.' The website also lists current membership at 3,800 households, who pay anywhere between $50 and $1000 in annual fees. The museum's fiscal year net assets are listed at approximately 29.6 million."
The museum is counted among 10 arts projects that McCain and Coburn deem wasteful. Other projects include the national Creative Industry Workforce Grant program, which is funded through Community Development Block Grant - Recovery money. That program offered a total of $500,000 to eight programs nationwide as part of incredibly competitive process that looks potential to create both short-term construction jobs, and longer term generation of low and moderate income jobs through creative industry activity. For example, $60,000 was awarded for the creation of artist studio and creative business incubator space to help ex-offenders with creative talents develop micro-enterprises and employable skills. Another $50,000 was granted toward the construction of a new 12,000 square foot affordable performance, visual and media arts space combined with mixed-use residential and commercial space. Another $40,000 went to help pay the creation of artist-in-residence space in a recycling plant that will allow artists to work with materials diverted from the recycling and landfill stream and educate the public about recycling.
Sounds like a waste, right?
I'm sorry. Usually I just ignore this kind of thing because I feel sorry for people who are stupid enough to concoct these sorts of publicity stunts, and for the people who believe them.
I'll let Michelle Obama put McCain in his place.
"Nearly six million people make their living in the non-profit arts industry and arts and cultural activities contribute more than $160 billion to our economy every year. The President provided an additional $50 million in funding to the NEA in the Recovery Act to preserve jobs in state arts agencies and regional arts organizations in order to keep them up and running during the economic downturn. Our future as an innovative country depends on ensuring that everyone has access to the arts and to cultural opportunities."
That's right punk.
Joe Malik is a jaded, ornery, "power to the people type" that can't help but comment on all the stupid, awesome, or just plain questionable stuff he sees within the local arts community. Basically, he's kind of an arts-centric asshole - but we like him. The Weekly Volcano doesn't always agree with what he says, but we do enjoy stirring the pot.