Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MiCACA)

We have a Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MiCACA) that hands out money like candy at a 4th of July parade. In the last year, the state has given grants to, among others... Arts Beats and Eats Foundation, Copper Country Suzuki Assn., River Raisin Ragtime Revue, Kids-n-stuff Interactive Experience, and dozens more. The MiCACA does not list on their information exactly what the money is used for.

Follow-up. Since posting this blog, I have received two heartfelt responses from organizations who receive state funds for their arts programs. (See comments below). I appreciate those comments, but I think the writers are missing the point. The Kalamazoo Symphony and the Beats and Eats program are great organizations and they do much good for their communities. My point is that I do not believe taxpayer funding of these programs is a core function of government. Not everything that is good should be funded by the state! I was the executive director of a non-profit organization for seven years that provided a wealth of human services in Kalamazoo county. Many of those services were similar to those offered by government agencies at taxpayer expense. The difference was, we did it at ZERO cost to the taxpayer and much more efficiently.

The arts are very important to the health and vibrancy of a community. If the community wants them, they will pay for them. Just as one writer pointed out, Chrysler is providing grants for their program. There are plenty of private donors out there who can and do fund the arts. That's the way it should be.

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