"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Letter To Th Editor re Patron Of The Arts

In response to Nancy Newman's paean of praise for the Aurora Culture Centre in last week's Auroran, allow me to note the following:

The Aurora Art Show and Sale has been fostered and nurtured by the Town Of Aurora for fifty years.

It was started by two young artist mothers,Mabel Pearson and Cathan Schonicker, residents of Jasper Drive and Sunray Place respectively.

Pat Barber of Holman Crescent and Dorothy Clark Mc Clure became part of the organiisation.

Pine Tree Potters received the same encouragement and support and space that allowed them to flourishfrom Ernie Batson ,our community centre manager and recreation director, fifty years ago.

It quickly became a Juried Art Show by the level of excellence achieved by Aurora's artist community.The auditorium in the new community centre was the original venue.

When our new town hall was built, a Skylight Gallery was included in the design as a home for this proud aspect of our community life.

The Aurora Art Show has been held in May in our Town Hall every year since. A budget is dedicated to the event by council each year In 2011 a budget of $6,580 was allocated.

The funds were dedicated primarily to extensive marketing and a promotion campaign.

SOYRA provide volunteers for the event. Assisting staff with set-up, take down and reception duties during the show.

In 2011, $5,100 was spent from the budget.

A registration fee of $22. was charged each artist and 20% commission on all sales during the show and sale. Last year's revenue from the show was $4,500. leaving a deficit of $600. Traditionally the show breaks even

The town provides a grant of $1.000. each year to Soyra to hang art on the walls of the second floor reception area of the Town Hall.

For decades , the town has provided free use of space in the old library building every Tuesday from 6.30 to 10.30 p.m. For art classes and meetings.

For fifty years the town has been a supportive partner with the art community in Aurora and since it became the Society of Artists of York Region.

It ill-behooves Nancy Newman and others to deny and denigrate support received from the town by comparing free facilities, staff and sales opportunities provided at the Culture Centre. They are not free. They are provided at taxpayers' expense.

By the way,until I asked I had no idea the extent of town generosity.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"By the way,until I asked I had no idea the extent of town generosity."

It's nice to see that there is precedent then for the Town to provide what they do. Maybe those that think art is a MorMac thing might get off their high-horses and realize that this not new.