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.


Anonymous said...

Arts, Beats and Eats is a family-oriented Labor Day summer festival in Oakland County that's been going on for some 10 years. Chrysler is a major sponsor of this event. There are food vendors, arts/crafts booths and concerts. Check it out at

Stacy Ridenour said...

Mr. Hoogendyk,

MCACA is one of the best run State arts councils in the country. All grants are evaluated by highly qualified review panels. Only high quality programs that serve the citizens of our State are funded.

The Kalamazoo Symphony receives funding which helps us provide education programs in Kalamazoo county that supplement and support K-12 educational goals. It also helps us provide education and concert programs in the rural adjacent counties that have minimal access to cultural arts. These programs make these small communities attractive for families so they continue to live in our State.

Attracting and incentivizing the film industry is a proven economic revenue generator.

I am deeply saddened that our own State representative doesn't value what the arts offer for our communities and region and would appreciate the opportunity to share with you the many ways our citizens benefit from MCACA supported prgrams. Stacy Ridenour
Kalamazoo Symphony

Stacy Ridenour

Kazoo Tax Foe said...

Hey Staci!

Get off the public dole!

I don't care how "well run" the MCACA is--the "arts" do not fall under the category of "essential government services," especially when we have a budget crisis.

I support many worthwhile organizations through MY OWN money, none of whom go begging to the state government for funding. I wish the arts communiity would follow the same philosophy, instead of trying to extort more money from us taxpayers.

Debbie said...

I support Jack's position on funding arts. First I dont want to fund bad or anti Christian art, which is common. Second I dont think a struggling family should go without because of someones enjoyment of the symphony. Why not subsidize more popular music?
Would that be fair? Give out free CDs of popular music at school? No, thats not what the arts people want. So let everyone choose their enjoyment and stop taxing the struggling family today.

Anonymous said...

I agree w/Jack. The state should not be funding these programs. I fund them when I pay for my tickets or donate. If gov't funding is so popular, it should happen at the local level where people get direct input on what is being funded in their own community.

Anonymous said...

From Mark:
I think that most of you that are posting on this blog are missing the point including Mr. Hoogendyke. Our state is struggling to keep population. If we keep losing population at our current rate we will lose partial representation at the Federal level. If we lose seats in the house of Representatives we will also lose our ability to attract more funding. We need any incentive that we can to keep business in our comunities. Support of the Arts and education of our population is paramount in any quality of life issue. When any business looks at a community for relocation they not only look at tax incentives but they look at the quality of life in that particular community for their employees. This is one of the reasons I feel that Pfizer just relocated 400 employees here in Kalamazoo. Bottom line support the Arts and you support relocation of new business in Michigan.

Anonymous said...

Government funded art produces bad art (usually) and bad government (almost always). Get the government out of the arts.

Go get 'em Jack!