It was great to see the Common Council do a flip-flop this morning on Janet Zweig's flip-photo project for Wisconsin Avenue, getting what would have been a major Milwaukee flop back on the rails.
At a Tuesday morning committee hearing, aldermen were wowed by the turnout and by the messages received in advance of it from constituents.
In the end, when the full council voted later in the morning, the project won approval by a 12-2 margin, with only Joe Dudzik -- he of the infamous phone message to Mike Brenner -- and Robert Donovan voting against.
From the many reports flying around about the hearing and later the vote, it appears that Ald. Michael Murphy and Nik Kovac were especially positive forces in the turnabout. Ald. James Witkowiak couldn't help but note that the turnout was impressive and the largest he's seen for anything unrelated to a tavern.
While some will toast the victory with a gathering at Art Bar in Riverwest tonight, others are simply exhausted from the battle.
"This is a very bitter sweet victory," says Brenner. "I am actually really sad about the whole thing; that it came to this. My hometown still has very little respect or concern for art."
But luckily, enough people are concerned enough to get out there and fight the good fight and, this time ‘round, the victory went to the arts.
As i said in an earlier post, i don't care if it's public art or any other public expense. In tough economic times, cost-cutting measures need to be considered and decisions be made accordingly. While it can be argued that Miller Park brings in much-needed revenue to the communities surrounding it and the city, I have a difficult time believing that this flip-art project is going to do the same. Overall, gov't spending needs to be scaled back on ALL fronts...not just public art.
When it comes to public art, the cost is all anyone ever seems to care about. People tolerate much less cost for art than they do for things like war machines or sports. But then, thats because those things are all about competition... whereas art is about peace and bringing something positive to life. The same goes for mental health... just try to propose something that will help people and everyone will cry about how much it costs.
So...how many hundreds of thousands of dollars will this cost...how come citizens have a right to criticize everything the government does or suggests, except for public art...hope they build money into the project for an ADA lawsuit, because the design doesn't seem to consider the needs of those bound to wheeled conveyance...how much per year to maintain the moving parts...how much more will we pay the artists for a replacement the first time some punk kids beat the snot out of one?
will somebody pleeeeeeaaaaaase think of the children?
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