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PERSPECTIVES ON

CULTURAL TAX
DISTRICTS

SEMINAR PROCEEDINGS
Seattle, Washington
February 11 and 12, 2008

A seminar co-sponsored by the Western States Arts Federation and the Washington State Arts Commission

PERSPECTIVES ON
CULTURAL TAX
DISTRICTS
A seminar co-sponsored by the Western States Arts Federation
and the Washington State Arts Commission

SEMINAR PROCEEDINGS
Seattle, Washington
February 11 and 12, 2008

Sponsored by the Western States Arts Federation

and the Washington State Arts Commission

.

Washington February 11 and 12. WA 98504-2675 Telephone: 360-753-3860 Fax: 360-586-5351 www.gov .arts. 2008 Proceedings Editor Leah Bassity Contributing Editors Erin Bassity Anthony Radich Laurel Sherman Seminar Directors Anthony Radich Kris Tucker Erin Bassity Graphic Design by Cristina Arnal The Western States Arts Federation 1743 Wazee St.org The Washington State Arts Commission PO Box 42675 Olympia..wa. Colorado 80202 Telephone: 303-629-1166 TTY: 303-607-9019 Fax: 303-629-9717 www. Suite 300 Denver.westaf.PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS A seminar co-sponsored by the Western States Arts Federation and the Washington State Arts Commission SEMINAR PROCEEDINGS Seattle.

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leaders who were active in three different tax-district processes provide perspectives on and analysis of processes related to establishing and maintaining the districts The St. Arts and Parks District Margaret Hunt 32 Session Four: Intended and Unintended Outcomes Recipient definitions Margaret Hunt 35 Impact on the development of cultural policy Anthony Radich 36 .Table of Contents About the Seminar Sponsors i Seminar Process iii Seminar Participants v Seminar Observers vii Presentations and Discussions Welcome 1 Keynote Address A discussion on regionalism David Thornburgh 5 Session One: The Cultural Tax District Landscape A comparative overview of cultural tax districts now in operation Kris Tucker 13 Session Two: Written History An analysis of the Detroit Cultural Tax effort Michael Rushton 19 Session Three: Unwritten Histories Moving beyond official histories. Louis Zoo-Museum District Frank Hamsher 27 The Denver Scientific and Cultural Facilities District Jane Hansberry 30 The Salt Lake City Zoo.

Garcia. Arizona Myra Millinger 51 Puget Sound Region. El Centro Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center.Session Five: Proposals for New Cultural Tax Districts Johnson County. Washington Dwight Gee 53 Closing Session Joaquín Herranz 59 Robert Booker 66 Appendix The SCFD Story: A History of the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District by Dinah Zeiger 73 Reflections by Jane Hansberry on her 10 years of experience as the district administrator of the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District in Denver by Dinah Zeiger and Jane Hansberry 87 Cultural Equity and the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District Executive Artistic Director Anthony J. Denver. Kansas Larry Meeker 49 Phoenix. Colorado 89 Comparative Research on Dedicated Public Funding Models for Arts & Culture 93 Background Readings 101 Seminar Agenda 103 Participant Biographies 105 .

Oregon. the targeted programs. WESTAF is funded in part by the National well being of its citizens. grants to arts organizations and arts projects that expand opportunities for the public to participate WESTAF is also engaged in research on arts-related in the arts in communities throughout the state. advocacy. Nevada. the system aggregates The state art collection now includes more than the data into a single index number that reflects the 4. It allows for year-to-year Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. WESTAF remains committed to the improvement of the cated to the creative advancement and preservation of the capacity and quality of public funding of the arts by the arts. and the convening of arts experts and leaders support for the arts through policy initiatives. and is governed by a 22-member The Washington State Arts Commission (WSAC) board of trustees drawn largely from arts leaders in the The Washington State Arts Commission advances and West. The organization serves the largest geographical supports arts and culture in Washington State through area and number of states of the six mainland regional arts leadership. cities.500 artworks in state agencies. The system also provides users with a series of reports The Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) on the rise and fall of key items measured by the index. the Arts Commission supported more than Vitality Index (CVI). region-wide programs that fill a gap arts education policy through legislation. for-profit and non-profit sectors. funding. Montana. the state’s social. in the arts infrastructure of the West. universities. innovative programs and services. The agency was arts agencies. Utah. Hawaii. Based in Olympia. established in 1961 to support the arts as essential to Arizona. to address critical issues in the arts. Colorado. and advisory research. titled the Creative 2007. Key pro- organization is committed to programmatic work in the gram areas include: areas of performing arts presenting. New Mexico. state-arts-agency develop- With an 18-member staff. and long-term investments.000 events. Programs in these areas include activities s Arts education: WSAC supports community-based such as the convening of leaders from an arts discipline. WESTAF is located in Denver. Position papers. The CVI provides an easily understandable measure of economic health. organizational. WSAC also advances ship of long-term. advocacy. arts-related creative economy. Washington | February 2008 . Utilizing streams of data from both the by ½ of 1% of state budgets for new construction. WSAC works to develop public ment. arts learning partnerships that provide quality stan- the development of model programs. WESTAF is a non-profit arts-service organization dedi. artists. mission to strengthen the financial. The location-specific data gathered for each CVI measures the annual changes in s Art in Public Places: WSAC administers the state’s the economic health of various segments of the art-related public art program. and professional development ser- policy infrastructure of the arts in the West by providing vices are regularly provided to these agencies. arts-policy research. governed by a commission comprised of four legislators WESTAF is engaged in information-systems develop. gives communities. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS About the Seminar Sponsors comparison as well as cross-city and state comparison. the organization fulfills its the state arts agencies of the West. and resources that build i organizations. WESTAF has also and strategic coalitions. dards-based arts education. In creative economies. WESTAF’s constituents include the state participation in and access to the arts. and folk arts. and public schools. and the sponsor. WSAC is Endowment for the Arts. and and to contribute to Washington’s quality of life and the Wyoming. established in 1974 and funded creative economy. literature. visual arts. Washington. In addition.9 million people. educational and economic growth. economy. knowledge. community col- relative economic health of a geographic area’s creative leges. Idaho. and states 49. serving a combined audience of a well-researched annual snapshot of the health of their more than 8. and 19 governor-appointed citizens. Founded in 1974. ment. developed a number of Web-based programs designed to benefit the future well-being of the arts communities s Arts organizations and projects: WSAC provides of the West. and arts organizations of Alaska. This project. California. Colorado.

WSAC also administers the state poet laureate program and has actively supported the Washington Artist Health Insurance ii Project. the CVI has since been implemented by four states and two cities. Washington | February 2008 . apprenticeships and specific projects. and protects the traditional arts of Washington’s many diverse cultures. presents. WSAC worked with WESTAF and the City of Seattle to establish the Creative Vitality Index (CVI) as a tool to track how the arts contribute to the creative economy. Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS s Traditional and Folk Arts: Through fellowships. s Cultural policy and participation: In 2005. WSAC pre- serves.

policy analysts. Knowledgeable individuals from established cultural tax districts were asked to significantly inform the discussion. Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. Invited participants included cultural leaders. Washington. and academ- ics. Areas of presentation and discussion included: s The effects of cultural taxing districts on existing arts communities and their funding structures. The two-day seminar was held at the historic Sorrento Hotel in downtown Seattle. arts administrators. s The potential outcomes of implementing a cultural iii taxing district in the current challenging cultural participation environment. financial supporters of cultural initiatives. s A review of how other metropolitan area and state- level public and private funding have responded to and been affected by the implementation of cultural taxing districts The seminar consisted of both presentations and facilitated discussion sessions during which participants addressed both the practical aspects of the issue as well as its policy-theory side. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS Seminar Process WESTAF and WSAC jointly designed this seminar as a forum for discussion on the structure and impact of cul- tural taxing districts and to allow participants to discuss diverse perspectives on tax districts as vehicles for arts funding. s An assessment of the potential for maximizing the positive results related to the implementation of a cultural taxing district. Washington | February 2008 .

Washington | February 2008 . PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS iv Seminar Proceedings | Seattle.

Washington Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. Myra Millinger is the president of the Maricopa Robert Booker is the executive director of the Arizona Partnership and a chief proponent of a Phoenix-area Commission on the Arts and a WESTAF trustee. and is currently the Board of Trustees of WESTAF. Seattle. and the current vice chair of Pennsylvania Economy League. Philadelphia. Lake Quivira. Ricardo Frazer is the president of Hardroad. Indiana Dale Erquiaga is the president of Consensus LLC. Colorado WESTAF. 2008. and is a former vice president of Kansas City’s Federal Some information may have changed by the publishing Reserve Bank. Missouri Jane Hansberry is the former district administrator of the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD). and Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University v the former director of the Cultural Facilities Fund in San and published an analysis of the failure of a Detroit Francisco. Phoenix. Bloomington. Louis. is the former executive director of the Las Vegas and Phoenix. Seattle. Salt Lake City. Arizona active in the investigation of the development of a Philadelphia-area cultural tax district. Washington Frank Hamsher is a public affairs consultant and the former president and executive director of Forest Park Forever. Phoenix. Washington regional tax effort. Kansas date. Washington | February 2008 .com and Pennsylvania a WESTAF trustee. Denver. Seattle. St. Washington Margaret Hunt is the executive director of the Utah Arts Council and a WESTAF trustee. Seattle. State Arts Commission and a WESTAF trustee. Utah Michael Killoren is the director of the Seattle Mayor’s Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs. Denver. Montana Michael Rushton is an associate professor and direc- Susan Coliton is the vice president of the Paul G. Bozeman. Seattle. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS Seminar Participants Larry Meeker is a cultural leader involved in a Kansas City-area cultural tax district effort in Johnson County The information listed here was current as of July. a David Thornburgh is a senior advisor with Econsult former public relations executive with R&R Partners in Corporation. cultural tax district. Colorado Joaquín Herranz is a professor of public administration and urban studies at the Evans School at the University of Washington. Allen tor of the Arts Administration Program in the School of Family Foundation and Collections at Vulcan Inc. Washington Olympia and Seattle. Washington Kris Tucker is the executive director of the Washington Dwight Gee is the executive vice president of Artsfund. Arizona Anthony Radich is the executive director of the Keith Colbo is the chair of the Board of Trustees of Western States Arts Federation. Arizona Phoenix.

PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS vi Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. Washington | February 2008 .

Washington Kjris Lund is the principal of Lund Consulting. Washington | February 2008 . Chris Wineman is a commissioner on the Denver cations at the Western States Arts Federation. Washington Vanessa Lund is a senior associate at Cocker Fennessy. Pennsylvania Jim Kelly is the executive director of 4Culture. Olympia. Denver. Seattle. Harrisburg. 2008. Washington Erin Bassity is the director of marketing and communi. publishing date. Seattle. Philadelphia. Colorado Colorado David Brown is the executive director of Pacific Northwest Ballet. Washington Melissa Newbill is the executive assistant of 4Culture. Washington Stephanie Stebich is the executive director at the Tacoma Art Museum. Washington Jean Mandeberg is the commission chair of the Washington State Arts Commission. Washington Mayumi Tsutakawa is the grants to organizations manager at the Washington State Arts Commission. Seattle. Washington Julie Goodman Hawkins is the director of policy and government relations at the Greater Philadelphia vii Cultural Alliance. Washington The information listed here was current as of July. Seattle. Pennsylvania Philip Horn is the executive director of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Seattle. Denver. Washington Mary Langholz is the executive director of the Washington State Arts Alliance. Washington Dennis Sellin is a senior associate at Lund Consulting. Seattle. Some information may have changed by the Huong Vu is the senior program officer at The Paul G. Washington Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. Seattle. Seattle. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS Seminar Observers Debra Twersky is the program manager at 4Culture. Allen Foundation. Tacoma. Commission on Cultural Affairs. Olympia and Seattle. Seattle.

PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS viii Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. Washington | February 2008 .

He asserts Welcome to Seattle and particularly to this gathering. That is the first idea I about these issues. answer nothing. “I had no idea people did what I’ve been trying to the United States and even internationally. We are not here to solve never be available to us again. The is not the time to say. These successes and challenges have affected Denver and the other six funded counties. If I’d known. the readings that I found relevant—not just to the conver- sation. 2003). Thornburgh (2008). I am thrilled to have this group of people here to talk 1 that regional change must involve extraordinary levels of collaboration and partnership. This dedicated public funding to support arts and culture. could the option of providing this mechanism in other Once we conclude here. I then forward and perhaps narrow the difference between wondered how I.” We come together envisioned mechanism is very similar to the Scientific now to consider new partnerships and new ways of doing and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD) in Denver. we should each be armed with counties be considered as part of the conversation? more information. I learned of a four- would like to share with you. I am going to leave you with a quote to guide your reflection during this seminar: Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. I would have just looked reading materials for this seminar provided information them up then. What are the drivers of cultural value and of the state. context. part of the impetus in designing this about the successes and challenges of that effort as it seminar involved bringing people together from around has unfolded over the last twenty years (Zeiger. To that end. Washington | February 2008 . and to state-level decisions. “I told you so. 2008). advantage of this opportunity to highlight larger regional- At the end of this discussion. Kris Tucker. context and partnership and moving to the next level. but to the way I believe the conversation should Kris Tucker take place. we will not say. will now talk about the process tural tax districts. I want to talk about a few things from that led to the seminar. but simply to place the arguments into Commission and I have responsibility for all 39 counties a new context. there are three key questions we might consider this seminar. The things. How can I take the best anything. This is a complex subject and this seminar is only the beginning of a multitude of discussions that may be As you know. as a leader in the arts and public policy the schools of thought. possibly.” My hope for us during this very rich conversation is that we question and learn. These decisions. we are here to consider all angles of this issue. I began to wonder about sustainable liability? Our purpose is to move the debate the impact on the other 35 counties of Washington. WESTAF board member. here. the formation of cultural county effort in the Puget Sound region to establish tax districts is about collaboration and partnership. The first point comes from a report written by our keynote speaker. might moving the debate forward. as well as the rest of Another point I wish to share comes from the article in the state. learn something. As I learned about the proposal for arts fund- how can these be interrelated to maximize revenues and ing in the Puget Sound region. but that we don’t turn ourselves Welcome inside out trying to reach answers to questions that arise Dale Erquiaga here. First.” So. Some of the find all these years. might inform this conversation as it relates discussions: collaboration and partnership. value (Geursen & Rentschler. the country to discuss this significant issue. WESTAF and the Washington State Arts unique to each of our regions. These are key elements for our in the state. how can a public-funding mechanism for arts and culture in our four urban counties in the state Our purpose here is directed toward thinking about of Washington work for the state as a whole? Second. and they will surely impact the Puget Sound the readings packet regarding the unraveling of cultural effort. the executive Commission collaborated to sponsor this opportunity to director of the Washington State Arts Commission and come together and discuss the larger implications of cul. Mr. Two years ago. One of the participants here from Pennsylvania SCFD has become a model that is well-known across said. The authors of this piece claim that our purpose is not to argue for any party I am the director of the Washington State Arts within the debate. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS Presentations and Discussions “Question everything. “So what and state-level interests in the tax district debate? That are we going to do now?” That isn’t our purpose during said.

area and who have considered some of the same ques- tions as well as other diverse ideas. to facilitate the development of arts in the West. it can be immensely helpful. the politics of taxation. A genuine we could set aside some time to reflect. in which I learned about tax policy and will inform the approach you present to the tax district. what not succeed on the first round and it could divide those for?” Thirty years later. Keith Colbo. how can we ensure that the effort advances the cause The governor believed that his proposal was very rea- for arts and culture? sonable and that it would offset other revenue sources. as in Montana where the sources are limited. I began to envision a seminar very strong point of view on many of them. Washington | February 2008 . deciding who other areas of Utah. the tax policies that we consider pursuing. perhaps this is the time when the work ought conversation should also address how citizens partici. and policy implications their original conception—to a sometimes completely dif- of cultural tax districts. as well as in Phoenix. discuss. Allegheny County. This governor was opposed and eventually defeated by Efforts to establish public funding for arts and culture a gentleman who had one slogan which was repeated are challenging. The most notable or nothing? Are we going to pass it this time or are we position I had was as the director of the state depart. if you need one? Earmarking is also a very important consideration. headed into a recession? Do you want to propose a new artistic merit and how ideas and regional issues connect tax or an additional tax right now? Perhaps it’s the best would also have to be considered. welcome. With an initiative of this kind for cultural As some of you know. dialogue will activate that process for an initiative. a current and culture in a given region. is one of the few states without a statewide sales tax. in building proposals for funding mechanisms. I began to realize I look forward to discussing some of the most critical that the conversation would have to be broader than the issues. I realized that cultural tax districts as one that aims to fund something as important as arts have potential and profile—not just in Denver. Arizona. I recall a governor’s race. including those in the people who are doing some very interesting work in this state of Washington. One is timing: when is the right time? Are we issues of money and geography—politics and advocacy. and will be included or excluded.PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS Third. of the Board of Trustees of WESTAF. or in the Puget Sound region. Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. Pennsylvania. I knew that Anthony Radich has a particular skill in navi. but Again. our proposal could the state and the sales tax is still not enacted in Montana. problems of generating revenue may arise. The development of part- operating district. With respect to coalitions: who can you live pate in the arts and how public funders account for the with? Who can you live without? Who’s going to be your decisions made by policy makers. With regard to revenue source. These issues will vary from Keith Colbo state to state. issues. We envisioned a forum in which ferent form—in order to receive acceptance. is tremendously important. to be done. that phrase is still heard around invested in the process. In addition. which is ners will undoubtedly promote the success of any tax a prospective district—but also in Salt Lake County and district proposal. We can learn a great The concept of cultural tax districts has a great potential deal from the efforts of those regions. I came across names of experience from which to draw on. The selection of partners. we 2 in which we would bring experienced people together to should keep in mind that initiatives tend to migrate from talk about the challenges. The regional states’ arts agencies have had a great deal of As my research progressed. The participants of this seminar certainly have the tal- gating complicated public policy issues. Our Puget Sound region proposal may every single day during his campaign: “Pay more. explore. what is your strategy for passage? Is it all with the state government of Montana. when What are the characteristics of the tax district that you a very popular governor proposed a sales tax—Montana want to promote? What are the demographics? Finally. my background includes working tax districts. such and advise each other. hoping for next time? The answers to these questions ment of revenue. I realized that this time of all. Over a series of ent to address these taxation issues and likely have a conversations with Anthony. champion. I would now like to introduce the chair it can also be disastrous. divert funding and policy from some other initiatives we An extremely strong political undercurrent exists in any of are pursuing. However.

David Thornburgh. will that traditional funding base go away? Traditional funding can very likely be threatened. unless it’s approached properly. At this time. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS I think one of the most important initial considerations is determining the risk to your traditional funding base. Washington | February 2008 . I would like to welcome and introduce our keynote speaker. If you are successful. Mr. 3 Seminar Proceedings | Seattle.

Washington | February 2008 .PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS 4 Seminar Proceedings | Seattle.

people live in metropolitan areas. people to negotiate with various institutions regarding they matter to people and to businesses. it was created to help anyone else who uses this trail. called Graduate! Philadelphia—a collaborative effort with tion for our discussions in this seminar. At this point I potential obstacles such as transferring credits and so could haul out the charts and graphs to convince you of on. Regionalism also matters to Tom in terms of his educa- ple. He is also The father of a friend of mine emigrated from India about a freelance video filmmaker. to get to work. which requires spontaneous 30 or 40 years ago. county. He Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. and statistics. Tom. and local roads and bridges for his livelihood. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS Keynote Address on the local transportation infrastructure. He is consequently reliant not only ARCO Chemical Corporation outside of Philadelphia. He relies on a system of state. and the work force surrounding it. Frankly. who is now planning that point. in a “think and requires local governments to work together in the spirit do” type of atmosphere. As a parent.C. not only because it is 150 years old. and the doing—around major community challenges are so critical and yet they often occur in isolation. we take that approach too often—we schools in the country. but also on mass transit. Likewise. In a previous position. Every day. and I think faculty. called the Germantown Friends rely on the perspectives of those who are accustomed to School. So. opportuni- ties. a think tank issues a report. I served Chester County. charts. regions matter. the point again is that an institution does illustrate why regions indeed matter. lives in Philadelphia and teaches at a private school about two counties away. that is how the region works for Tom’s benefit. This is just practice of region-building. or that most the region works for him. which is followed by a tional prospects. regional colleges and universities to make it easier for adults to return to college and finish their degrees. Washington an engineering degree. or New York. I could tell you that much of our gross national to graduate next spring. Tom and I sometimes go Good evening. more background information about my experience with goes through Montgomery County. So. For example. Washington | February 2008 . He recently decided to complete his degree and was aided by a regional initiative My goal this evening is to raise some ideas in prepara. He is clearly dependent on the assets and opportunities of the larger community embracing greater A discussion on regionalism Philadelphia. and found himself working for the D. The First and foremost. Tom’s entertainment and leisure David Thornburgh activities often take him well outside his immediate resi- dential community. Most of my career has been a practical example of how someone’s quality of life 5 spent in the greater Philadelphia region. Now Tom travels about 45 minutes through different counties let me tell you a story about a company. Instead. Tom went to college for a few years but very political process. If one of the counties fails to maintain as president and CEO of the Alliance for Regional its bike trails—if theirs are filled with potholes and broken Stewardship (ARS). and ends up in regional collaboration. but because this is the kind of conversation we should actually be some of the faculty members’ spouses work at one of having more often. Regions are essentially beauty of this regional program is that it can work with the building blocks of our economy and quality of our life. or that regions are critical to our national security. not exist in isolation.. These two pieces—the thinking of collaboration and partnership. For exam. our environmental future. bottles—that becomes a problem for Tom and me and nization with a promising future. left before he finished a degree. and rarely do the two intersect. I want to tell you a few stories of real the universities or at one of the other private schools in people and real companies in my region in a way that will the area. The school has been able to attract an incredible reading graphs. it draws on the assets. Perhaps we are subject further the idea that regions matter and to promote the to a flat tire or our nice bike ride is ruined. The ARS is a really interesting orga. I’d like to begin by giving you a little riding on a bike trail that starts in the city of Philadelphia. A friend of mine. But I’m not going school with my kids at one of the best urban private to do that. such as New Jersey. He came to the United States to get travel to various locales. one of whom attends and our economic competitiveness. and is another example of how product is derived from metropolitan areas. This program has helped Tom. Tom has two children.

and water and sewer imity. and the lives of Tom and his family ernment from the 27 separate governments. With the can avoid looking at graphs and charts and consider stroke of his pen. or airport paid for by Price’s leadership. Throughout When you get into these discussions of regions and his career. schools. would be affected. opened ing sense of competition between this municipality and up a world of opportunity for the pre-packaged Indian nearby counties—especially with the rapid growth of food company. They city of Philadelphia. The airport. which allowed it to draw customers from nearby systems—their residents needed. The company is located in to keep track of criminals who moved from one jurisdiction Delaware County. the governor created what is now the how. and they recently opened up a 46. Let me tell you a story about but strong and cohesive Indian population. This occurred on February 2. bridges. Overnight. by With all the growth. taxes are local—that’s the way it has been and how tages right off the bat. I’ve come to think of regions as the geography of opportunity. counties—that they couldn’t use the issues. I say. we 27 local governments were merged into one. candidate in a way: he ran on the idea that the county government had to change to tackle the big challenges If someone were to say to Tom or to the couple who of the day. he and his wife decided to start an governmental structures to adapt to changes and chal- Indian packaged food company called Joti Foods. is owned by the City of Philadelphia and most of hard to plan for and pay for the existing and expanding it is located in Philadelphia County. bike trails. By discussing these anecdotes. the primary source of their work force came from other 300. Clearly. 1854. which was clearly an a very good job of communicating with one another. ing from various places. There was also a grow- counties. all around them. Philadelphia has a relatively small. it will stay. he had an entrepreneurial itch and after regionalism. bridges.000-square-foot 120. regions was elected to the state senate. infrastructure—the roads. Washington | February 2008 . enormous regional asset for this company. along with the airports in Philadelphia. a crusading lawyer from its strategic location next to an airport owned and and civic leader named Eli Price stepped forward and operated by another governmental entity. Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. solve some of the public safety in some cases. county. Different police departments weren’t doing adjacent to the Philadelphia airport. With roads. regions really matter.PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS was a chemical engineer for 20 or 30 years. but to another. literally cooking in their kitchen. About grew. The company’s prox. reason. He was a single-issue matter to Joti Foods. here you have a company located in another big city and county to their north. So. while benefiting enormously During this time of great change. As their business that had a population of about 420. on a very personal level. one of our suburban counties. some people will want to suggest that ARCO Chemical was ultimately sold and absorbed into cooperation between governments—or changes in a Houston company. Not so fast. including both the metropolitan area and the suburban counties. The county was experiencing rapid population growth in the urban and suburban areas. This is a story about a single county ment and for their initial customers. it was difficult for this county other international carriers. local. Their employees were com. the legislature passed a bill—which residents of another county—then clearly the business the governor signed into law—that created a new gov- would be harmed. and to restore pride to the community. and the facility. which was causing some Some of the company’s most important customers are numerous problems in areas such as public safety and airlines. are meaningful to people and to companies and for that more than 150 years ago. They sell their products to United Airlines and fighting crime. the 27 municipalities were finding it the way. happen in America.000 of those people lived in the central city. Price made the case to the state legislature started the Indian food business that they must stay that a new form of government was needed to embrace within the confines of their immediate communities and the growing population. For instance. They lenges in society and in the economy—simply do not started on a shoestring.000 people. All politics are local—the schools are but their location in the region gave them some advan. one county drawing a labor force and customers from all around an 11-county region.000 live in the 26 municipalities in the same 6 the local Indian community. This allowed how one community responded to change happening them to draw on a supportive cultural network for invest.

structure. This study found that in every single one of these a gale-force wind. and sometimes it will feel places. in order to solve a particular problem or build like the doldrums. As tax policy. shared services like police tors brought with them in 1600s. Let me reempha. our governmental structures are or bad? We must reflect on these narratives in order to not organized to support them. park districts. argument is to convey to elected officials that focusing have always been engaged in thinking about and recon. trash collection. in turn propels real estate values. problem and/or the significant community issue that the istrative structure. Washington | February 2008 . Thinking about how to the regional case to county executives. We have trict? What did Cleveland decide to do?—but the “how” a federal. The wind is at the backs of com- In fact. there Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. and mosquito districts are all Understanding the political landscape. As you consider the potential for your respective regions and communi- Let me be clear though: changing local governments and ties. a Wharton study conducted about 10 years ago munities struggling to regionalize the way they collect examined the 27 largest metropolitan areas in the United taxes and provide for important services. and deliver government services is county commissioners. there is a In making a regional case. how we spend money. transportation districts. most fascinating questions we will consider Joti Foods. This really exemplifies the great spirit of both an invitation and a warning. mayors. and others elected by people an ongoing conversation that goes back almost 150 from a particular piece of the region will always be a years. sales Regional structures. believe there is a movement toward greater regional thinking and action. I truly 7 everywhere around this country. ent parts of the country during this seminar. and fire. in the next 24 hours are not the “what” questions—what’s size this point: Regions are political orphans. as Americans. as in the Denver district. This and their abilities to work and provide for their families. we should ing—we constantly look for new ways to solve problems. Typically. organize. At times we may believe the notion of regionalism challenge. local being elected by different branches of that district. property taxes. as we talk about differ- American innovation and democracy and problem-solv. To illustrate this point. mind you. anyone who tells you that local government. on their constituents and the ways in which the region— ceptualizing how we raise money. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS So. is a novel concept that might not work in this country or in some particular states. state. one place that it would work in another. It is not always States. all politics are local. and shires that our English ances- Water districts. tricts is always daunting. own story into this new set of possibilities. boroughs. is critically important. exist taxes. I think this is in America. and making been reading her history book. the problem is not just the fact that arts institutions need more funding. they are political orphans. of counties. Louis dis- do not run for office as the mayor of a region. determine what ideas make sense. it will be important to understand how to fit your implementing new regional structures such as tax dis. I think that the most powerful long history that should remind us that we. But this wind will not change direc- on a community asset. and so forth. and improve the lives of assuming that simply because a strategy was effective in our citizens. they are still district solved? Often. and regions lie questions: how did the regional structure come about? squarely in the midst of those. we will not revert to more between neighboring governments to discourage the local forms of government—especially not to the system divisive “what we raise here stays here” kind of attitude. this presents the How was it created? What was the impetus behind it and most formidable challenge. Despite the tremendous what were the circumstances? Was the economy good advantages of regions. On the contrary. bridge and tunnel authorities. an agreement had been made tion. and knowing examples of regional structures—and many more exist what people care about and what attracted them to an for nearly every significant aspect of living and working area in the first place. Looking toward the future. Politicians the structure of the SCFD compared to the St. and local boundaries do not change hasn’t it’s been said before. move forward. both formal and informal. Another important question: what was the even when elected officials convene to create an admin. councils. the geography of opportunity—matters to those inside and how we can ultimately benefit the lives of people the region improves the lives of their constituents. primarily because while regions are meaningful to people like Tom and businesses like In my mind. but we should avoid confront common challenges. In a 24/7 global economy. To me. and local government.

These people may serve in a public office. ment. The central “The money raised here. nity leaders. They tend to see the big A strong concern is that many people may be benefiting picture. has there been a substantive discussion work and your commute—benefit from the taxes that are of the arts? Is the arts community engaged in that dis- paid somewhere else? Otherwise. A a somewhat soft-focused “Kumbaya” regionalism— woman from Minnesota named Ann Markusen (2006) referring to the notion that everything would work out did a nice job of presenting the emerging case for fine if we could all just be friends and sway together at increased involvement of cultural leaders in this discus- the campfire. I would disagree with you. but instead were still thinking locally. Bruce Katz at David Thornburgh the Brookings Institution developed a great term. region to promote an idea. In these conversations about regionalism. the bike trails are built from their taxes. Jim Kelly wide basis to consider a new set of alternatives and With regard to transportation. even for bike trails. don’t you—in your daily life. and they have an ability to unify communities within the but may not recognize it. Washington | February 2008 . I sion. the initiative comes from Keynote Question and Answer Session government.PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS is something else compelling people on a community. I have to say that I am a somewhat lukewarm fan of think the regional efforts need to present a more creative Richard Florida—perhaps I buy about 60% of his argu- and finely articulated case to people. I don’t think that works. rather than elected officials. So. Likewise. for example. For example. particularly in the early stages. I agree with him. I think these regional models are initiated by maintained by taxes from the other counties. stays here. not from his well-meaning. well-respected. powerful ideas and inflating them beyond all recognition. We are constantly benefiting from areas outside of our own. and neighborhood activ- a region. and well-known commu- county. What we found in exit polling and likely do not.” We had the legisla. consider all the right reasons. such as the people in the stories you told. the roads are than not. but most to stay in the county. them? Also. Thank you very much and I look forward to a tive for regions comes from government. Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. I am ists who are invested in regional efforts for what I would wondering how we can deal with that kind of obstacle. I suspect that the initia- possibilities. civic interviews was that people were not thinking in terms of leaders. I expect that lively discussion tomorrow. rather than his. tenet adopted by the Alliance for Regional Stewardship ture create a statute for regional government regarding is that the people most integral to advancing regional 8 transportation and they subsequently implemented a discussions are what some refer to as ‘boundary cross- statute that required all the money raised in the county ers’. more often friend Tom driving across other counties. foundation executives. Perhaps this is an interesting point to explore—do you actually think that all the taxes paid to You’ve been working in the stratosphere of regionalism a particular jurisdiction only benefit the people that pay for years. but go Anthony Radich to other places. He said that many regional efforts are promoted through Yes. these discussions cussion in a meaningful way? about regionalism would be of no value. they were all initiated and sup- David Thornburgh ported by civic leaders. I think he’s somewhat guilty of taking some basic. consider the experiences of my political capital. You mentioned something to the effect of: Well actually. including your where. we pay taxes where we live. If you look at the case studies in the book of readings. They are typically business people. They are not playing the special interest game from regions. but that is an exception. if at all. One example can be found in the readings. I think there are places like Denver that are now creating a That is why I think it’s so important to keep telling the culture in which regional thinking and action has gained story. So. Are you aware of any community in which the initiative to increase cultural and arts funding derived Kjris Lund from government rather than from the arts community? I just had the misfortune of working on a three-county David Thornburgh regional tax measure on Proposition One that failed last November.

The most critical word But would the major urban institutions refer to themselves is trust. foundation executives. and mailing lists. How can we get people in distant suburbs to support such regional taxation. How do we steer the conversation so that we are viral marketing. and often is a multi-nodal network of big cities. I considered that venture a very concrete expression of the kind of leadership that must be brought together to Michael Killoren bring about change in a community. I have served on the board Consequently. a new way of thinking emerges. The people who earn the trust of the community David Thornburgh will vary in position and influence from place to place. This is certainly true for Pennsylvania and most of the Northeast. and find the city’s connectors. resulting in a fascinating list. we must avoid list of people down to 100. well-respected. and they cannot be achieved without trust. although the mayor of Philadelphia suburbs. to whom would you David Thornburgh turn? Whom do you respect? Whom would you trust?” She received about 5. in my city for example. they are regional because of their draw. Liz Dow. That describes Philadelphia or New York and was not included. who may question why they should support urban arts institutions and organizations. and small towns in a particular region. online forces. “If there were a big com- areas are the centers of activity? munity problem that we had to solve. and then everything The list comprised some obvious names. community leaders were also among the group. which pro- we are actually building economies on innovation and motes leadership development for young professionals. The people needed to advance these movements are Well. are well-known. When an the ones who act in the best interests of the community. and the How is the leadership involved in advancing regionalism. wanted 9 Michael Killoren to examine that phenomenon across the community of Philadelphia. what the arts and My friend who runs the group became very interested culture sector is doing. The inclusive of non-urban areas while recognizing that urban questionnaire essentially asked. and incredibly impor- tant in effecting change. In the broad economic-development realm. as discussed in Malcolm and more and more cultural leaders are expected to Gladwell’s (2002) book The Tipping Point. by way of community organizations. in the notion of connectors. creative industries. She created In terms of regionalism and the arts community. creativity. it is embracing Michael Rushton regionalism. area decides to support cornerstone institutions finan- rather than in their own best interest. That is Ozzie-and-Harriet thinking about cities and ernor of Pennsylvania. This has opened up a whole particularly in light of competing interests? new realm of opportunity for the role of cultural leaders. Well. there is no David Thornburgh longer a question of whether we should be adopting a regional approach or not—that’s just accepted practice. but more and more we are basically seeing I think a common obstacle is obtaining support for a constellations of big cities and small cities—that is how tax increase from people in outlying suburban areas. major newspapers. a kernel of his powerful ideas focus on a Larry Meeker knowledge-based economy. role of the creative class. My friend. We understand the importance of collaboration as regional institutions? and cooperation.000 responses and narrowed the In the context of metropolitan economies. espe- cially in those metropolitan areas where transportation is Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS However. in that of the Leadership Philadelphia organization. such as the gov- else. while also funding the smaller. religious leaders. we a questionnaire and distributed it to as many people must face the reality that urban centers are the driving as possible. We are facing great opportunity. I think what we now see more leaders. people are beginning to see metropolitan areas. Washington | February 2008 . the notion that there is a central city. smaller cities. Some city council members. Some regions have an incredibly dominant central city. business Levittown in the 1950s. less-established ones outside of the primary urban center. cially. Connectors contribute to pursuing regional policies and ideas. of course. which resembles.

If they don’t exist. from a relatively nearby suburban county like Gwinnett. when you begin to consider how to structure a region. which in turn will inform your proposal for a regional configuration. you cannot make them up. Having lived there. David Thornburgh Well. where do they come from? You must conduct some research to determine those connections. I know there would not be much support from some of the suburban counties in Atlanta. For example. con- sider an urban zoo funded by city tax dollars. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS an issue? For instance. they must be authentic. So then. you must identify the existing ties between coun- ties and understand them. Washington | February 2008 . 70 percent 10 of its visitors do not come from the city. in the Atlanta metro area. Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. it takes about an hour to reach downtown to go to the opera or to the major museum of art.

(2008).. Journal of Arts Management. Unravelling cultural value. G. New York: Little. Washington | February 2008 . 33(3). 196-210. PA: David Thornburgh. (2003). (2006. Denver. A Blueprint for Regional Results. Philadelphia. The SCFD Story: A History of the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District. TX. (2008). (2002). & Rentschler. R. Law and Society. CO: Dinah Zeiger. The Alliance for Regional Stewardship. Worth. Ft. 11 The Western States Arts Federation. Paper presented at the annual American Collegiate Schools of Planning meetings. Markusen. M. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS References Geursen. Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. The tipping point: How little things can make a big difference.) Cultural Planning and the Creative City. Gladwell. November 12. Brown and Company. A.

Washington | February 2008 . PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS 12 Seminar Proceedings | Seattle.

serve the city and the county of St. governance. that this would result in decreased revenue for the two the key phrases from the prepared materials that I think original institutions. There is no application process or lion annually. of the region was in decline and Howard was concerned which is a fairly newly established mechanism. Louis cultural tax district landscape. St. dor. or STAR. the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District want to draw your attention to a few particular character. I mention the other districts Louis Zoo and the St. Its funding source is a one-half percent sales it supported 209 organizations and projects.5 million people. has a board of directors of 11 members. and it employs four people. high-quality 1985. At the time. and enhance access.and county-level property tax. The founder of this structure was a civic of Cultural Affairs are now parts of the city’s cultural leader named Howard Baer. one member The population of the region is about 1. Louis Science Center. The funding represented in the unique three-tier funding distribution requires that these institutions provide free admission. from each county. The origin is see the distribution of financial resources. and the stadium district. process. The origins of the district are interesting. cultural organizations in the Denver metro area lost city I learned that this system has complicated governance. the zoo and the art museum. specifically focusing on six existing districts. Its grant budget in 2007 was $3. and four more who are appointed by and the total is around 22 cents per hundred dollars of the governor. I was founded. Minnesota cultural tax mission provides grants through a competitive review district. Tier one is formula funding. The amount provided to each institution The funding-source mechanism is a sales tax—a penny is specified in law. Washington | February 2008 . and area. It is a funding stream directed A comparative overview of cultural specifically to the five aforementioned institutions. The origins of this mechanism. and program. In about are important include maintain investment. Kris Tucker I will provide an overview of the cultural tax district About a decade after the St. The tax district because I think it is interesting to see where and how was later expanded to include the Missouri Historical these tax mechanisms are being created to form a new Society. involved a 1982 fiscal crisis in which these five institutions. I will not spend much time describing it. of these districts. lap in funding exists between the commission and the Mayor Norm Coleman wanted to bring an NHL hockey Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. which generates more than $40 mil- funding is delineated. tier two Some exceptions are made for special programs offered is application. so there are clear boundaries of how per $10 purchase. No over- tax. who selected property tax landscape. the population instead participate in an innovative revolving loan fund. The Zoo-Museum District. a regional arts commission was established to programs.000. [SCFD] was established in the Denver metropolitan istics such as location. These agencies do not provide grants. The funding effort was subsequently comprised of boards for each funding recipient to over. the St. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS Session One: The Cultural regional tax district—an organization can receive money Tax District Landscape from either one source or the other. free admission is a key characteristic of the funding recipients. The SCFD administration cost is less Botanical Garden. the urban drainage corri- tax district was established in 1971 to support the St. but as the mechanism to be used. Louis Art Museum. The funding source for these large than $500. To understand the history and the origins this district. the structure provides a direct funding stream to in the readings. The com- Now we will look at the St. The district cultural institutions is city. funding source. or ZMD. and state funding. but the general requirement is Office of Cultural Affairs and the Denver Commission free admission. In sum. Paul. expanded to include more institutions. that exists today. Because the reading material thoroughly covered administration. known as the Sales Tax Revitalization. assessed value. we can start with the oldest tax district The SCFD provides funding to a seven-county area in 13 I found and work toward the most recent district which and around Denver. as explained review. As I tax districts now in operation mentioned. and the Missouri regional identity. is not known as a collaborator. Louis is where the first regional transportation district. and tier three is re-granting The Denver by some of the institutions. Louis. In 1993. Colorado—which is identical to the was established a year ago. nor does it have much of an identity.5 million.

are cultural capital investment. It was tions. known as RAD. The applicants interested in receiving About 80% of the generated revenue goes toward the funding do a presentation before the board. Paul has no arts that time. and used for operating sup. referendums are unusual and this pro- posal was actually never presented to the voters. and the other four are nominated and the controversy—this person continues to be on staff. the county. in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. but has no other grants District. 10% enced a bit of an upset for a period of time. This person zoo. the whole RAD experi- St. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS team to the city. In Pennsylvania. 128 of which are eligible to participate and do participate. so that capital. including the communications was told by someone at the mayor’s office that they were manager. capital The RAD’s allowable expenditure for administration is up grants. who runs the governance told me that the system works and is efficient. and would instead be sharing the need for expanding public support for arts and culture. the role of the distribution is for organizational development of special projects. Of the total half percent sales tax revenue. low interest to 1%. Five members hired a part-time communications manager to address are city-appointed. nearly 10% of the geographic area. but not the entire city. which has become one of to pay off the debt created by the civic center renova. The gover. The mechanism has evolved. There are 130 municipalities in the county. they are referred to as cultural agency exists. which is a non-profit agency The next district is the Allegheny Regional Asset that re-grants some state funds. There are some other peer organizations capital investment. such as the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council.000 in 2007. Even when investments are made through grants. It plays a very small role with regard to public art. all of the allocation decisions. initially the funding more applications can be made outside of the limited included 3% for arts and culture. located in Allegheny County. burden with areas outside of the city boundaries. The The proposal included a window of time sufficient enough effort was linked to tax reform. So. Essentially. it is targeted on municipalities. As a side that revenue goes to RAD. I spoke to at the RAD said that shortly thereafter. Currently. indicated that they will likely refinance the civic center debt. The city of St. Paul. and the city of St. It was 14 The geography of the district comprises specifically the instead approved by the legislature. and low interest loans. and The funding source is a one-percent sales tax. Half of plays no other significant roles for the city. and to do so he needed a hockey arena. which makes cultural district. The regional district was developed because He also knew the city’s convention center needed some the city of Pittsburgh was pursuing a larger tax base. The funding is reserved nesses outside of the district. Now. The area. which generated $78 million Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. The city of Pittsburgh has an arts commission Pennsylvania. The person considering that option. so remodeling and upgrades. along with some considering making it closer to a 50/50 split. The result was a 25-year window that expires in essentially understood as tax reform even though it was 2018. I spoke to someone within the administration of initially about broadening the base of support for the city the district who anticipates an extension. in 2007. Washington | February 2008 . The area has since expanded to include more of public expressed uncertainty about whether the stadium downtown and even a regional park across the river from was a good idea. although I tion has six staff members. The administration is now primarily for general operating support. Consequently. budget. I think the key words for this district total revenue is distributed for arts and culture. No real relationship between RAD and the state arts port and project support. the library. The contact is distributed as cultural capital investments. and the governance is very sleek. they nance structure is a nine-member board. that was established in 1911 as a design review board. A controversy developed when a stadium a cultural district which was originally an eight-block was added about four years into this mechanism. It used about $573. he and his administration the city would not be solely responsible for supporting packaged those needs together and also identified the its cultural institutions. Paul. the key messages with respect to this mechanism. and the conservatory. commission. My elected by arts and cultural organizations. and the remaining portion goes to busi. The mayor’s contact also said that the legislature would likely be less office handles most of the staffing for the program via receptive to this kind of proposal now than they were at a nomination process. The administra- loans are not one of the mechanisms they use.

Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. The mecha. funding available through this mechanism. which I think could have contrib- assets. Sales ropolitan area. is expected to drop in 2008. Like the SCFD. the revenue is expected to stabilize at approximately $15 million. Ohio. but we will look enhance and outreach. this passed on the same ballot as port has also increased—it was approved by Salt Lake a statewide smoking ban. The RAD puts more emphasis on quality of life state arts agency. The their materials. in of one cent on a $10 purchase. Keywords from this region include stability. Utah. This is a statewide program. Washington | February 2008 . nism was authorized by state code as a local option that can be implemented by municipalities and counties. and less coverage about mechanisms in other municipalities within Utah—those whether the arts and culture was worth funding. so it is in the for the district was the symphony. but it was narrowly defeated. zoos. was expected to raise $19 million in 2007. had the first state arts agency in In sum. its organization and determining role delegation. Arts. the state arts agency than it does on economic development. and historical turned by the board itself. specifically at the mechanism used in Salt Lake County. based the country in 1899. as ZAP. There was a great deal of press cov- County has contributed to development of similar funding erage on the so-called sin tax. Nevertheless. Interestingly enough. as it was seen as a “wine and cheese are anticipating distributing for project support.” The effort was subsequently redesigned to appeal funding round was not without controversy. The revamped effort passed. it was rather the remainder goes toward arts and culture in two tiers. Public sup. the initial program has a very small administration with less than conversations began about 10 years earlier. In 2006. early stages. are regional assets and cultural porting arts and culture. The program’s advocates did an extensive These tiers involve a broader definition of eligibility than analysis after the defeat and regrouped. Pennsylvania. of course. effort was put on the ballot in 2004. so the city is expecting that County voters in 1996 with a 58% majority. is seen as providing a stamp of approval for its grant recipients in both the county and across the state. ZAP Moving on to the next region. both Erie and Harrisburg. a cigarette tax was approved—a tax proceeds. and months and it was close to being passed. The region emphasizes the importance legislation states explicitly that this effort will not reduce of this in reducing property tax. the ZAP’s funding is broken down as follows: tax. The initial tax. notably. The program just awarded its first round of cial disarray at the time of formation. the keywords I identified for this region. general operating support. remarkable. So the board is still improving organizations. Considering that the effort only lasted about two 12% is distributed to zoos. In fact. and art-in-classroom programs. 30% goes to recreation. some to a broader base of voters and also became wider in of the advisory board’s recommendations were over- scope to include recreation. although the grants received neighborhoods and outreach by way of reduced ticket through ZAP are much larger than those provided by the prices. which was in finan. projects. but neither one has community development office that provides grants for gained any traction. and values outreach into state support of the arts. The With regard to the origins of this program. The success in Salt Lake target cigarette tax. The original effort grants and still has some money that the administrators was defeated. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS note. The impetus cigarette tax is authorized for 10 years. and then the revenue generated might decrease over time. The reauthorized in 2004 with a 71% majority. met- $20 million in 2006 and $12. While a fairly rapid decline is anticipated. and Parks and is referred to the county.9 million in 1997. That effort proposed an increase in property Currently. A similar two full-time employees. The state has a long history of sup- on their materials. The word assets can be found everywhere in uted to the support for this effort in the legislature. deciding to what we might see elsewhere. located in the Cleveland. have grown and so has the penny and a half per cigarette or 30 cents per pack. a number that ing and believe it can work in their communities too. The tax areas see that the Salt Lake County mechanism is work. Salt Lake County’s tax also provides funding to every city arts commission in 15 district is called Zoo. parks. The tax generated Cuyahoga County. have made The Salt Lake City Arts Council is a division of the city’s a case to create a regional district. this district also employs a sales tax The final region we will look at is an interesting one.

central to its vitality. including out-of-state visitors? How does that play out with the citizens who are funding Frank Hamsher these private businesses? Free admission is offered for four of the institutions. I believe it is part of Cleveland’s strategy to try and attract artists to live in the old warehouse and loft district. I do know that there are many examples museum and a charge for shows and special exhibits at of public support for private. and the International Women’s Air and businesses? Does this pertain to for-profit businesses? Space Museum. It is not only something with which we in the arts and cultural Susan Coliton organizations are familiar. Kris Tucker It has received some questions about the impact of this program statewide. Also. Paul. This was one of about this mechanism include health and quality as well the topics that the representative from the mayor’s office 16 as excellence and access. business programs. When I mentioned that one grant funding for general operating support. This tax is going to boost the tion of funds closer to a 50/50 split—with 50% of funding budget of arts organizations in the Cleveland area and going toward the cultural district and 50% going more skew the formula that is used by the state arts agency. I just wanted to add something about St. I am very curious about Cuyahoga County distributing Robert Booker half a million dollars in grants to individual artists. which is of the districts is looking at perhaps moving the distribu- determined by a formula. the Museum of Can you elaborate on the city of St. so the zoo. but I can’t think of any Paul understand that a city’s nightlife and music scene is other tax district that offered funding to individual artists. I did not actually examine that. Could you please clarify what you mean by free admis- sion? Is free admission offered to local residents or to Ricardo Frazer everyone. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS The district uses a fairly broad definition of culture that Ricardo Frazer includes the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. so the For the programs that provide funding for individual art- grants become an additional incentive to enhance the ists. broadly—the interest is to include a broader definition of so it will be interesting to see its effects. They are interested in developing more sup- port for music. can you talk more about that? Paul has been trying in recent years to build a certain momentum downtown. The state arts agency distributes Yes. so it supports a variety of institutions. it is an increasing trend. such as music venues. before the programming is decided? Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. A number of people involved in that so it does seem unusual. and they realized that one of the ways to Stephanie Stebich do that is to support privately owned music venues that do not fit into the non-profit model. Georgia. are those city’s arts culture. or revolving loans. Washington | February 2008 . is using a similar strategy. commercial enterprises. Dale Erquiaga Savannah. Some key words arts participation. I think the people of St. St. This effort has included building Kris Tucker several residences in the downtown core. mentioned. This seems like a significant amount and an uncommon prac. I think some Michael Rushton of those people see it simply as a business development initiative. The state arts agency was involved only at the periphery. it’s certainly not unheard of in the public sector. tice for a public agency. on the sideline of the arts. where there is a substantial artist community. elements written into the authorizing legislation? Or is the legislation such that the distribution of funds is deter- mined first. effort were connected to the STAR program. Paul’s funding to Natural History. Kris Tucker although the Botanical Garden requires a small charge. there is a charge for special exhibitions at the art I don’t know.

What is it in St. what are the trade-offs? The St. with a budget of around $2 very localized identity crisis. The cases discussed seem to be success- the SCFD’s recipients. and a regional conversation million. lished the Regional Arts Commission which covers the ibility than actual flexibility. comment about the STAR initiative in St. Having lived in both of those I am also interested in the way regional cultural tax dis- communities. Louis district has encountered very little contro- Kris Tucker versy about its funding approach. a corporate as those in even broader regions. what is the impetus for attaining another source. as well as some of the failures. well-funded. I know that the ZMD in St. Louis that allows the other organizations In fact. which has a in an attempt to accomplish other city initiatives. same geographic territory of both the city and county. interesting to think about that as a city-specific frame- tion to the Zoo-Museum District. or perhaps contributing I would describe both of these systems as entitlement to economic development? When we reach the point of systems. Assuming some type of enjoyed major arts funding outside the SCFD. but About 15 years after the ZMD was enacted. One issue that comes to mind has to do with recipients written into the legislation. and how the STAR program has tied in with the nisms. could has a very limited funding program. The ways in which area. With some exceptions. Louis far exceeds that of Denver. are they framed dimension. which messages. work. which brings to mind the earlier environment where three easily accessible. I think that is a very real difference and one that is sometimes Larry Meeker lost on those who want to treat the two models similarly. One key reason for this is that the funding system in St. Louis develop different levels of momentum. they are quite different from one another because to fund the key institutions? If the major institutions they exist in vastly different public funding contexts. receive fixed funding. changes in St. and Denver are often used as base models for these kinds how to overcome potential obstacles. I also Anthony Radich wonder about conversations you may have had about A very important consideration is how St. arts efforts can obtain significant funding support city’s effort to revitalize its identity. Those mechanisms see how cities position themselves around these issues include the Regional Arts Commission. Washington | February 2008 . 17 as preserving large institutions. Louis and lessons learned. with respect to local individuality of the between the two efforts related to the public policy political and policy context. Through these mecha. we estab- most of it. Louis exists in an That is a very good point. Nothing like that exists in Denver—with the minor various cities and regions coordinate those different exception of the Colorado Council on the Arts.5 million of its budget in the St. they both essentially thinking about they are framed. So there appears to be more theoretical flex. within the three-tier system. and the Missouri Arts Council. which expends would have a number of different identities that might approximately $2. of cultural tax districts. ful case studies and I’m curious about other attempts around the country that were not successful. I find it and flexible mechanisms exist to support the arts in addi. advice about how to avoid pitfalls. It will be intriguing to from outside the district structure. For example. The result overriding frame that still respects the local conversation is that the ability of public funding to respond to the could be challenging. as well budget of approximately $3 to $4 million. Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. I think it was very helpful to hear how the cases were tion. Paul. what are the choices and predetermine the level of funding organizations receive. I want to point out a very real difference tricts are framed. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS Kris Tucker Joaquín Herranz I’m not exactly certain what is written into the legisla. to obtain the authority to adopt this tax. Louis has its funding presented. I perceive that as a and individual giving fund. Denver has never become quite complicated. or even multiple sources of funding Frank Hamsher outside the fixed funding? I would like to add something: the majority of the funds spent by the three flexible entities is directed to the same Frank Hamsher organizations year after year—not all of the money.

diversity of what you are offering. and the broader context of a community is the funding recipients were numerous and wide-ranging. organizations—it’s about what our voters who represent that is a much better approach. Audience participa- what Anthony mentioned. This is not about the arts combine those two entities. Context determines the leading issues and Kansas City. I’m referring not only to We essentially have two entities that provide arts and the cultural diversity of the art. Public funding could serve the needs diversity of the community. I think that ideally. when we pursued a bi-state cultural tax. We all need to remind our- of these organizations together through a single entity. For the Regional Arts I would agree. the drivers. but it does not go out “the flagships” are definitely over. in order to get voters’ support and to enrich Commission was the symphony.5 million people. with how to pay for it. ingly important. a tax district effort may have to hitch its The impetus for its establishment was primarily to meet wagon to so-called flagships—even those that are dying— the needs of the symphony. The impetus for developing the ZMD was Frank Hamsher the city zoo. most critical intangible that frames these issues and sets ommended approach involves identifying the most the stage. economic collapse. or an opera is very crucial when making such a request of the voters. Looking at the entire arts ecosystem is Commission. a much broader audience than a ballet. agree with Frank. hav- your arts community. from the ily. Larry Meeker David Thornburgh Does this perhaps suggest an approach of pursuing Just to underscore a couple of things. the last few com- funding for a few key institutions—followed by a second ments pertained to context. which I think is extremely tier—rather than putting it all under one umbrella? In important. Washington | February 2008 . I think the days of essentially talking about time. if you will. There were several other kinds tion patterns have not necessarily increased in some of of institutions. themes that I have read in all of the prepared materials The flagship institutions will likely have the horsepower 18 is that everybody who has a symphony has a problem to advance public and civic support for such an effort. so determining a funding mechanism is of what future cultural support will look like is increas- crucial. selves that we are asking the voters to support these The city of Denver learned some lessons about how to cultural tax mechanisms. but also the demographic cultural support. the numbers and voice they often seek support for other art United Arts Campaign has existed for approximately 40 forms—perhaps art forms that are more familiar to their years. significant areas of need that community leaders want to address. The impetus for initiating the Regional Arts These days. which our entitled organizations. The context is the I would say that. So the formation of the cultural tax Frank Hamsher district was perceived as part of a comeback and a way for the community to pull itself up. symphony. Although I would of business. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS This translates to roughly half of the current region. actually what you should aim for and focus on primar- The tax was to provide funding to various tiers. Anthony Radich prising about 1. it is very important to look at the ing a system that encompasses all of them is preferable. A symphony is a very uneconomi- Nevertheless. designing a tax effort with an open vision cal enterprise. the impetus was basically to accomplish becoming more and more important. As new populations grow in were receiving no funding from the ZMD. I think one of the underlying to obtain support for lesser-known arts organizations. From a policy perspective. a rec. Finding a way to tap into art forms that draw win over your voters. com. at least in our circumstances. but you must figure out various interests are going to consider worthy of their the drivers that will energize your civic leadership and tax dollars. It does not grow very much. Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. particularly in the performance area. and it does raise about $2 million dollars. The Denver district was created in the context of an major agencies down to the smallest of organizations. It has struggled to gain traction for a very long communities. In addition.

which are what merits public support. There are individual artists. But the way the proposal was structured sug- for?” I had a much clearer idea of what I would pres. In fact. there must be dispensed. I never found anything that definitively identi- fied the community values in the context of the plan. I received this information secondhand simply by reading the old newspapers and what people had said When I heard the four magical words: “Pay more. erendum. To advocate for any kind of initiative thought. be something more community-specific that determines cussing can be found in the articles I wrote. When different departments would propose their budget submissions. and and did not articulate exactly what the funding would so on. for public funding need to offer a convincing. 19 academic economist. the debate was framed by the advocates in terms Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. It was going answer to the general public. Two-thirds of the money raised. gested that it went forward without very much strategic ent at this seminar. we would have sent it back. in the government of Saskatchewan. nor did I live there during the debate over this ref- from an arts point of view. We would county government to try and foster discussion about the have said that the plan showed no real thinking about purposes behind the effort. I think they can perhaps provide a useful in Detroit. One is written specifi. I should say at the outset that I don’t live in perspective for people who are coming at it specifically Detroit. what and so on. so we should do something like that Michael Rushton because that sounds very organized. If promote dedicated funding for the arts in Atlanta. There are some its big arts organizations needed more money. the business community. Last year I was involved in the preliminary efforts to it always had to be in the context of a strategic plan. Providing such an answer requires some advance could obtain. I approached these matters essentially as a public policy it will likely meet some resistance. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS Session Two: Written History When you start to ask questions about what the funding is for. Washington | February 2008 . but the Detroit plan basically stated that institutions that run some programs. 2005).” Instead. That plan was not strategic. There are particular type of situation. a good answer to that question. I used to work in the central cabinet agency strategic planning. The answer should explain to be divided proportionately among those organizations why it would be valuable and why public funding is on the basis of what they already spend. it often means something is about earmarked taxes for the arts in a more general quite specific. of course. you realize that “the Of course there are politics involved that may lead to that arts” is very broad and ambiguous. In my opinion. So the notion of public fund- included in the prepared readings. “Well. So the smaller community-based organizations that run other plan proposed increasing property taxes for everyone in kinds of programs. definitive was going to go to 17 large organizations. the table who were requesting more money for the arts. for example. go toward. The people advocating which is quite a significant amount of about $46 million.” Instead there must Some background information for what I will be dis. These articles were not written as advocacy pieces but rather as analyses of these particu. It’s not very useful to enter a con- Cultural Tax effort versation by saying. with an added needed in lieu of private sources like donations or ticket condition of a cap on the total amount that any recipient sales. There were some people at the issue at all. If a proposal goes forward and its advo- sense (Rushton. you begin to strategize in terms of what specific things really need additional funding in this particular An analysis of the Detroit region or community. 2004). different venues for the visual and performing arts. Consider how the extra money was going to be involving dedicated funding for the arts. As you work in the field. Denver has these three differ- ent tiers of funding. The other of money for “the arts. It was any department approached us with a budget allocation interesting to be a part of a large panel of people from with a plan to give everything it funded an amount of arts agencies. ing does not just lead to increasing the general amount cally about the Detroit case (Rushton. there are two counties to pay for it. and the city and extra funding. To give you a bit of perspective cates have not done that kind of thinking ahead of time. that is one of the things that went wrong lar questions.

” What you are trying to achieve largely influences the kind of funding you want to advance. It’s very lively in the arts. which has strong music you could clearly see the support draining away as you and visual arts programs. One of the three metro- and institutions you would fund.D. the big organizations were going to be funded. that threshold. “Our arts poli. who Macomb was not. the press suggesting people were very unhappy about however. politan Detroit counties. programs for children. among other strategies to attract mining the relevant region. does that mean we are going to provide Anthony discussed. climate and no rapid transit and so on. funding of central agencies far away from where they tion of about 60. When Florida that. organizations truly represent the public interest? As For instance. which would have received $4 mil.” The way I’ve seen some people try to present their approach The furthest reaches of Oakland County are 58 miles can skew their arts policy in a way that might not be away from downtown Detroit.000 people. or can we come up with a real strategy? most people are arranging their cultural lives now? Do Sometimes this requires some hard thinking. it is an interesting case to place a particular emphasis on the types of programs on the notion of regionalism. each county had to meet consists of the “non-creative” class. Macomb was not included because at are the other people? The majority of your population the time the legislation passed. But Bloomington is very much included both Wayne and Oakland Counties appropriate two cities.s in biochemistry and software has a considerable influence on how you proceed. The president of the put doors on refrigerators? Is cultural policy not for them Henry Ford Museum. So only two of the For example. what toward the existing large arts organizations? Do those for?” in developing the plans for cultural tax districts. fairly close to the city center of Detroit where most of These people are essentially being told. but if that is the strategy you want to put forward. said something to the effect of. I think one task is deter- up the downtown area. while talks about trying to attract the creative class. Bloomington has a popula. Is that the way to after-school programs? Thinking these questions through attract people with Ph. was actually not a part of the proposed district. There were numerous comments in warrant funding. There is a downside to this approach. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS of what the organizations needed. do we want to continue to think in simply proportionate funding to everything we’ve always terms of flagship institutions? Is that the way in which supported. Should it go It is crucial to consider the question. reside. “Pay more. who make a lot of money and tend to move around. engineering to a region? Well that might be so. the small $100 dollars per year more in property taxes. The residents of Oakland County were being asked to pay about $50- I can even see this happening in Bloomington. Richard the major symphonies and the major art museums inform Florida might be right or wrong about the impact of our public arts policies? To what extent should arts poli- 20 making neighborhoods “cool” and stimulating by having cies be devoted to education. Washington | February 2008 . well. Oakland County was part of the referendum. If you’ve seen the classic late 1970s movie for what the city was trying to achieve? Could it have called Breaking Away. within that strategy some of the commercial three main counties in metropolitan Detroit were part arts such as those related to the nightlife scene might of this tax initiative. The town is adopting a strategy move further out into these counties. it depicts what is occurring in been more narrowly focused? Bloomington. We had a map of how all the precincts voted and primarily owing to the university. The result is that a a particular size requirement. we’re trying to attract smart people County residents were unhappy with this. but voters just don’t understand what it takes to fund cultural institutions. which I think is often overlooked. you would need With respect to the Detroit effort. for the university town where I live. anymore? I think that really focusing on how to answer lion per year. where there is a rough wise. a compelling case. Macomb County. and Macomb was below large section of the population of a region is being dis. who Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. People in Macomb County were living regarded by the advocates of the cultural tax program. Oakland cies are not for you. In terms of regional to lure a certain type of people. What do you want to say to the people who work at the elevator plant or at the GE plant. Was. and an active nightlife scene and so on. which involves sprucing initiatives for arts and culture. “We made the “What for?” question is important. in fact. an initiative that this mobile creative class.

and I think this happened in the values of the community. lotteries are used for a great deal One of the things I looked at in the Detroit study was of the arts funding. We taxes have in common with lottery revenues? They are examined the precinct level analysis of the ballot. the framing debate is very good for the arts because it tends to facilitate becomes much easier in light of a clearly developed Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. but I could identifying what you actually want to achieve with this ask a person about his or her opinions on several social spending is crucial. the percentage Denver’s configuration. we did not find where implementing regional policy is extremely difficult that to be true. but the numbers still published a paper with my colleague Greg Lewis from end up the same. They are not easy liberal positions tend to drive state funding regardless to answer because you will have particular interests. Levels of higher initiative is actually quite tough. process of developing Denver’s system as well. decentralization of the arts. divided government because it is such a sprawling city. in Canada. Now we are seeing some interesting that respect. So a the largest arts organizations are typically going to press switch in power of a state from Republican to Democrat very hard for guaranteed funding for their organizations. and I could make a of the city? Are you trying to change how young people good prediction about how that person would vote on grow up with culture? Are you trying to make a state- an initiative for public funding of the arts. But general innermost counties. I once spoke to community interests. with regard to smokers be more successful with its regional effort. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS This came up in our discussions in Atlanta as well. taxes for the same reason I am wary about lotteries. Also. which is what the public is going Kelly Barsdate. and there must We also found that divided government actually tends be some push back in order to stay focused on the not to have an effect on state funding. these cal before anything can move forward. Washington | February 2008 . as in Britain. as more and more people live and work in Atlanta’s suburbs. Last year I education scholarships and the like. the results we got where the money is coming from and where it is going to were consistent with what we find in surveys of public go. Getting cooperation on any kind of liberalism seems to foster support. and historic preservation? Answering those questions is criti- those tend to drive state funding. based on the and non-smokers. One is that renters liked 21 are beginning to scatter throughout the counties. which both very regressive. and arts organizations ing the property tax initiative. in both cases there tends to be included about 1. We essentially ment about your elite art organizations? Are you trying found that there are different measures political scien. of independent initiative for the city without support Education seems to matter more than income does in from the counties. much more so decent transportation system. Cobb County now We learned some other things in the Detroit study involv- has an opera house. who suggested that divided government to support. does not drive public funding so much as the underlying We saw that in Atlanta. Even though there was than income. however. In a given neighborhood. of the population over the age of 25 with a bachelor’s The city of Atlanta was essentially trying for some type degree tends to have considerable support for the arts. Empirically. More states are beginning to use lottery funding for opinion about public funding for the arts. it simply was not going to pass. which is why there is no education tend to make a difference. This is true both in public opinion surveys some consideration about a five-county region similar to and in voting.800 precincts. It’s odd. The end result is taking money out of Georgia State University about which states tend to fund poor neighborhoods and putting it into the richer ones. I am wary about smoking research I conducted. and of what political party happens to be in power. even in the five had neither a positive nor a negative effect. What do cigarette the voting behavior related to these tax initiatives. As an aside. Atlanta might voted for the Cleveland initiative. in terms of the precincts to the census tracks. I think forcing the discussion on the arts. Of course. Are you trying to change the culture issues totally unrelated to the arts. When we matched up a sizeable transfer from the poor to the rich. to give your city a particular look? Are you interested in tists have derived for liberal views of the population. for example. Interestingly. increased funding. When that is achieved. We found that people who are more liberal generally are more in favor of public funding for To sum up my remarks. more for the arts. which is not very surprising. It will the proposal. I can take a guess at how people be interesting to see how that plays out. The big organizations want guaranteed funding. From what we found.

” But if one of the public benefits that might be using the zoo often when they have young chil- you are trying to achieve is a dynamic cultural community dren. where the existing no need to brainstorm about an effective way to sell the large institutions wanted a protected sphere with secure initiative to the voters. I think turning our about them. but many successful area. A number I have concepts. or that they are all going to be decentralized. You ultimately want to attract cultural the Nelson-Atkins Museum recently added a fabulous entrepreneurs to your city. Michael Rushton perhaps because they lack a larger vision. You can emphasize the idea that there will be something for everyone. be enjoying more of the high culture later in life. That is not a very politically historical museums. This parks. On the one hand. To ignore those major institutions in that way and might state that we think it requires a public effort to yet be responsive to suburban growth and the public’s ensure everyone’s enjoyment of cultural amenities in this wishes would be challenging.000 square-foot wing. Generally. Your existing institutions are essentially go through a life cycle in which they are going to take looking at a snapshot of the landscape and saying. Anthony discussed how we can no longer look to within your organization. I think a strong message can be inclusive of those is that they want their secure position. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS policy. organizations. Again. In what ways can large we need to implement a funding mechanism that allows institutions decentralize? For example. and that we want this to be Michael Rushton an attractive region in which to live and to raise a family I’m not sure that the large institutions need to be worked with all of the different amenities that people are going to around. So I don’t think it’s a matter of Larry Meeker saying to the flagship institutions that we no longer care That was an excellent presentation. libraries. but might occur elsewhere and the large flagship institutions. especially in regard perspective. advantage of these things in different stages. Washington | February 2008 . city or region. in Kansas City. I saw this in Atlanta. new museums. growth. A message to the public arts tax. and they may use bike paths and things like that at that encourages the public’s involvement. we could have spread that new museum across initiatives have been much broader in scope—including the city and increased access to its components. Had the museum taken 22 Michael Killoren an alternative approach and put an American museum subsidiary in the eastern portion of the metro area by Your points about messaging and value to the community the Harry Truman Library. focus outside of the arts groups and onto the larger It’s rather a matter of saying that there must be room for questions and the voting public is certainly appropri. but how do you navigate the ambigu- subsidiary out west by Cabela’s. Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. and that growth is not necessarily going to occur ate. always found interesting is that more than half of the art museums in the United States have been established The message can also be put forward that most people since the 1970s. ity of that situation? Resistance is expected when fund- rary museum subsidiary perhaps in the southern metro ing is solely focused on the arts. new musical ensembles. and another contempo. would be more difficult to manage from the museum’s it might complicate the messaging. It’s not clear if that is good for the long-term environment of the city. and botanical gardens can be easy thing to do when you are trying to advocate for an thought of as culture at large. They tion we’ve got here. new 165. for that possibility. You can also assert that we are has to be room for cultural entrepreneurs to start new trying to create an environment that you will be proud of. then there other times in their lives. They may it would be nice if we could maintain this particular posi. I think the idea of including science and basically work around them. I think the problem we will encounter want. new dance companies. We simply have to maintain that focus so there is and so on. new resident theater companies. and other elements. and we should Not necessarily. “Well. zoos. How do we address these ways of reducing it down to simple language? issues with the large organizations? I think you are sug- gesting that perhaps they are not the flagships anymore. but it would have potentially been of more to the question of “What for?” Perhaps there are some service to the community. a Native American museum are very well taken. funding. and in which you would be pleased to entertain visitors.

but close to the center of the city. people with higher education. I wonder whether pass a property tax for the symphony. At least in our neck of can look at the point of pain that an organization may the woods. I am curious to know whether. and because of the people we are involved with and the things we believe in and try to support. I noticed that the support for this figuring out the relevance of the symphony joining a tax- initiative really decreased in the area of Grosse Pointe. part of the city of St. ing district was to those individuals. They Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. however. there is no exhibit or organization that lives or have. Otherwise. Louis. I think all of us. The symphony was going Republican. arts community. and it is fairly would attend the symphony. but if you notice what their point you’re essentially making. and a major campaign had been orga- It’s interesting that Democrats. I’m curi- it that way. a genuine struggle. about everybody pitching in through a common funding a lot of the form’s content relates to outreach: What are mechanism to improve the overall quality of life. in your on behalf of a basic services proposition that ensured research. people with liberal nized to accomplish it although it did not involve a major views. and funding emphasis put into economic impact we need to be thinking about what’s in it for them. there has been an enormous amount of time. ous as to whether you find those arguments compelling. That the ways we will award grants is based on what kind of perspective is certainly welcome. Presumably. In terms to increase its educational outreach. you came across rationales that help persuade the city’s ability to pave its streets and adequately staff Republicans with a high school education who are home- the police and fire departments. what kind of impact I had some direct. But the focus has changed over Michael Rushton time. I think it can We need to think like those who we are asking to vote be done. energy. Voters don’t necessarily see and pumping dollars into the regional economy. you doing for a non-traditional audience? What are you doing to partner with other organizations? Outreach Frank Hamsher programs can be encouraged. The polling place there are any arguments that resonated with those kinds where I was working was in an economically marginal of voters in your research. and it can be put forward even in discussing how ter. by deciding that one of I like your emphasis on how voters see this issue. If you’re asking the voters for money. Washington | February 2008 . advocates. It is a tough question involving the real public benefit. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS Joaquín Herranz had been authorized by the state legislature to seek voter approval. It’s interesting that the National Endowment for for this particular issue. it is on things like preservation and presenta- tions of Shakespeare. So there are some we think our organizations are facing?” I think that’s the strategies that can be used. some of effort. or were interested in it. and even in the Detroit example. At the time I was working in the Mayor’s office port the initiative. I must confess that I had a hard time 23 fied. The New Criterion is even writing for voters was not. If I look at an applica- and determining if there is a strong case to be made tion form from an organization to the SCFD. the fund is going to be allocated. focus is on. Very few of them This is where you can find large homes. tend David Thornburgh to look at this way too often from the perspective of the Michael. and renters sup- election. I think the quality of life issues can mat- Yes. visceral experience with this 20 years have those arguments had? ago when our symphony tried to become a free-standing member of our Zoo-Museum District in St. what’s in it for them? What’s the the Arts has lately been receiving a lot of praise from point of pain or the opportunity for them? The question conservative circles. such as our symphony may be in trouble or our breathes without some statement about multiplier effects museums may need money. Looking at the map. Concurrent with this owners to support these initiatives. We arguments about arts and culture. people were working the polls in an attempt to them voted for. as arts community initiatives are going to be implemented. the economic struggle was I’m not sure that any persuasive arguments were identi. but is that enough? of attracting the more conservative base. Louis where people—if they were employed—were worried about being unemployed the Michael Rushton next week. For these people. for example. “How can we fix the problem that about how great Dana Gioia is doing.

I also think an economic case largely as bogus as all other economic impact studies. they should realize that it does add something to the community and that it pertains to overall image. Frank Hamsher Do you have any sense of what percent of the population in Detroit actually participated in the arts? That kind of connection would either involve the voters themselves or their kids. Marketing that message. The question then seems to turn to. for example. I want to ing up a city or region with excellent cultural amenities comment about economic impact studies. this can have that option. in the end. but you may find a real value in living in a feel right going forward to people trying to persuade city with a ballet to have that option. to vote for the initiatives? I think you ulti- mately have to promote that quality-of-life message. but I would hope we could characterize it differently is what will attract people to live in a city. You may not go to the ballet this year those studies have no validity. Michael Rushton There are many cultural institutions that I’ve never visited and I might never visit. Washington | February 2008 . But I think a case can be made to people that it is a beneficial investment to have an attractive place with real cultural and recreational amenities. I’m not sure how much and data of who actually attended the ballet in a given people actually buy those arguments because I think year. I think recognizing that these institutions are valuable to Since we are having a frank and open discussion here. and so your family them that due to these so-called multiplier effects. “How Anthony Radich exactly does this add up?” I don’t think this is a good approach. I think we can look at the overall investment is actually going to pay for itself and generate benefits to the fabric of a city rather than the numbers considerable economic impact. how do you attract other people? How do you get someone. and that other people can as well. I think an argument can be made that build. which include. I like knowing that my kids could Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. and convince voters that while they may not go to the sports stadium. As I stated earlier. start asking the questions that any economic analyst would ask. It’s going to attract entrepreneurs to the city and people who want to and say that economic impact studies of the arts are expand their businesses. however. have is important. but I’m happy they are there because I like having the opportunity or the option of enjoying them someday. I presume it’s probably never going to be a majority. I agree with 24 you. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS Michael Rushton enjoy them if I don’t. I personally would not or next year. seems to be very difficult. can be made along those grounds. But I do not think the multiplier effects argument is advantageous in the least. Following up on Michael Rushton’s remarks. I think care must be taken to avoid skewing information toward attracting a particular so-called “desirable” type of person to the exclusion and disadvantage of the general population. they would. who does not participate in the arts or does not have kids.

International Journal of Arts Management. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS References Rushton. M. Public Budgeting & Finance. (2004). Earmarked taxes for the arts: US experience and policy implications. Support for earmarked public spending on culture: Evidence from a referendum in metropolitan Detroit. Rushton. 72-85. M. 38-48. Washington | February 2008 . 25 (4). (2005). 25 Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. 6(3).

Washington | February 2008 . PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS 26 Seminar Proceedings | Seattle.

After the mayor made his long-winded presentation. This is before most road institutions. Louis. The tax had not been raised because the city of added since the beginning: the historical society and the St. He went through this prolonged ites are not just bailing out the institutions owned by the discussion about something called net fiscal benefit city government of St. You confront the opposition from one of those studies you referenced. property tax. and want We have been talking about the here and now. Before I talk about the Zoo-Museum District in St. Thus was born very well-to-do. and believe you must go that point. Louis. Louis and funded by a dedicated property tax since the other regional cultural tax districts in the country. None of decide that the symphony is not popular and widely what we’ve been talking about here had happened at used enough to be included. you’ve made such a persuasive case for this that I think we should build two of these things. It is also Frank Hamsher owned by the city. There was not much policy dis. and you are a with more broadly supported institutions. in the entire world. Louis. What do you do? You decide how to get as big as many other metro areas nor is it growing as the suburbanites to pay the same property tax that the quickly. and believe that they have been bailing the symphony out for years. Louis Zoo-Museum District art museum is dealing with the same problem. You can see your organization endowments. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS Session Three: Unwritten Histories Even though you think the art museum is not nearly as popular as the zoo. You can contemplate the benefits of this tax—we pain and have to consider how you want to advance your have all been involved in fundraising and we know about arts and cultural policies. Louis. within the same authorization. middle of the the country with much more money. sensible alderman who was a working class two most glamorous city institutions and divorcing them 27 guy. About 15 years ago. Now two of them are among the best of the major private fundraising efforts for similar insti. that there is a big problem.” I In addition. Louis was in the midst of a serious population loss of botanical garden. So ies. you transport yourself back for a moment to 1969. Even today that taxing past 10 years. The prospect was likely that of which receive almost $10 million each year from the this tax was not going to go up at all. person for a bequest in order to make that happen. but upper-middle level zoo and you see other zoos around These institutions used to be fairly decent. You have not had to ask one rich support your institution. tions that would not have been possible if not for this cussion back then. It the beginning. but it included in the group of institutions. from the city of St. That is simply what is received from the voters of St. However. and frankly you are annoyed by their “smug” attitude about things. three about 25% over 20 years. The three others are now among the tutions involved a big friends group. but you are experiencing a point of tax. so you determine how to get the state annual equivalent of an endowment of $400 million that legislature to authorize you to ask suburban voters to comes from tax money. he said. This is in a medium-sized city—not major donors. Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. with a very from the mayor of the city who claims you are taking the practical. and there is a brand new Natural History and Science I wanted to add a footnote about economic impact stud. Mayor. you have a fairly good. so the suburban- a new football stadium. two of which have been in 1962. which happens to have been the chair of the zoo board for the has been an enormous success. very well-connected businessman who the Zoo-Museum District in metropolitan St. Your name is Howard Baer. They were able to get the tax increased supports only five institutions. The zoo and the art museum receive the financially sinking. all the major donors for the symphony admit think this tells you something about these studies. As the chair of the zoo board. Louis. The zoo had been owned by the city of district generates nearly twice as much money as any of St. and two of which get close to $20 million each year. We now have five institutions. with many reliable best in the country. you decide that the The St. You decide that you cannot have the suburbanites support only two institutions in the city. Museum that happens to be located in the suburbs. our Mayor was trying to sell you decide to include the science museum in the same the Board of Alderman on a major subsidy for building process. Washington | February 2008 . “Mr. There is a degree of excellence in these institu- residents of the city pay.

Louis for the size of our city and our region than probably any other city in the We can see the clear benefits from this tax district. When the history museum was threaten. activities would likely be beneficial. to your community. whether spending this much public money on a small There were few to no local tax options in those days. It was chosen for a very institution must make its case. It United States. Art museums do the large. This means that each of a thorough policy analysis. They have the possibility of adding Forest Park. Louis district is obviously is not a particularly good tax source for the purposes of the excellence of the institutions that receive funding. which authorized. they have created for St. real disadvantage—it’s hard to get included in the district. But having only a few institutions is a ence museums. which provides support for Jill McGuire. although the overall effort simple reason. broadly popular institutions well-supported in not have as broad an appeal as zoos. They have not geographically decentralized. people rallied to support it. the single biggest obstacle to adding it was the run outreach programs that are effective in the broader property tax because people find it so abhorrent. Polls community. can look at some of the disadvantages of this regional 28 able achievement. ing to close. and over munity outreach program that extends well into poor and 200 related organizations. number of arts organizations is necessarily the best pol- Property taxes were basically how local governments icy. The challenge is that the sales tax in programs of varying types. which has since developed a superior. The Zoo-Museum District made that district. I would not necessarily recommend the stand possible. Still is an impediment to getting other institutions added into another is the inclusiveness that the tax district has the district. they must have to appeal to a broad segment of the population. Between the two of those minority communities. and they are extraordinary. Washington | February 2008 . It also predated the existence of local sales As much benefit as it provides to us. We they needed to expand their outreach. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS so these institutions have become terrific. Also. later we added a Regional Arts Commission that primar. Then it must go to the voters and ask for a tax attracts a certain type of people that few other artistic specific to the institution. I would question taxes in the United States. The Botanical An institution has to approach the state legislature to get Gardens offer an emphasis on the outdoors. That is quite a remark. Louis a quality knew if they were ever going to ask voters for money. They did so primarily because they funding sources. who runs the Regional Arts Commission. The alone Zoo-Museum District to anyone in its current state. to the ZMD. All of them Frankly. Fifteen years that tried to get into the ZMD and failed is the symphony. the other programs that are no longer envious of the repeatedly tells me that we are the number one arts large funding base that the big institutions have. of arts life that we do not deserve in some respects. Distributing it around more evenly to more strategic raised money. due to the property tax that supports them. The same applies to sci. These institutions have become quite ate funding is for an individual organization. is effective because it works in conjunction with the Regional Arts Commission. it is what the city residents were already facilitates the individual effort. so simply extending it to the county made the most sense. each detailed on the ballot as separate entities so voters The decision to use a property tax was not the result know where their money would go. Each of the taxes that gener- endeavors attract. a wonderful urban park resources and the reason to ensure that they are more where four of these institutions are located. but they do have a way that makes them truly outstanding is a real benefit some relevance to everybody. We city of our size in the country. and hotel and motel taxes. It is not very popular with the voters. ZMD worked from the beginning. inclusive than they had ever been before. have better arts institutions in St. despite the advan- tages created by the current structure. Getting supported institutions of broad appeal. show that people support a sales tax over a property tax but they have worked very hard to develop outreach by about 20 points. along with the Regional Arts Commission. property tax One of the benefits of the St. They know that if they ever our community is getting significantly overloaded. intensive com- ily supports the performing arts and visual arts. The one institution Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. In more recent times we have looked at the encouraged the institutions to embrace. because it primarily but I would recommend some of its elements. paying. need to go to the voters again. this district. and it Another benefit is the popularity of the institutions.

and likely the voters as well. and other people in governmental positions who are looking to improve the 29 public transportation infrastructure and the police and fire departments. But it also means that political sup- port for the cultural institutions is that much more dif- ficult because political establishments are not invested in the same way they might be if they had more direct responsibility. regarded as more urgent. ZMD institutions and their funding are not subject to the pull and shove of all of the normal political activities of government agencies to ask for support. Washington | February 2008 . and the Mayor and county executive were not enthusiastic because they had other matters to address which they. Each time we ask for a popular tax like sales tax. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS One benefit that can also be a detriment is the isolation from the political process. Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. we get in a position of compet- ing with mayors. The tax districts are also perceived as competitors of those government agencies who provide other services for public funds. We wanted to use a sales tax to fund Forest Park. for example. county executives.

We were faced with the problem of how to When this district passed in 1988 during the recession. based on my How do you identify the opportunity. who is getting to ask and oversee a cultural tax district and discuss what I would answer these questions? Who gets to be at the table? and would not recommend in that regard. or possibility to address with such a big span jurisdictional boundaries. as David said. As I mentioned. In many ways. good things happened that could new jurisdictional boundaries at times. diversely. and the office vacancy rate downtown was ing urban centers. Regionalism gets as a result. But I think we would have had been said. there was a regrouping effort. People from the Convention seen some different things. get the suburban residents to be receptive to paying for there was a considerable civic pride element involved in some of the arts and cultural institutions. and I think we are now in the midst primarily framed the opportunity as replacing the lost of another renaissance of regionalism so we are facing funds. Those who work in public If we had framed the issue as a larger question. while people from Human Services regard it as for the region. We were also fortunate enough to somewhere in the range of 30 percent. had the question been framed existed in 1982. The individuals who like? How are we going to work together? initially framed the rationale for what is now the SCFD were primarily the trustees of the major institutions. It was a common be presented with a special district opportunity. and they even lead to effort. As it has already not have been intended. The timing was critical. We were in the throes of the worst regional recession in decades. Nevertheless. and proposing a new understanding of Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. for instance. The point Cultural Facilities District is. I think the SCFD has suffered what people get elected to achieve. more interesting mechanism more capable of area. We did not its success. that is not nally framed was limiting. and thoughtfully. This involves asking several questions. botanical gardens. We could have framed it and Visitors Bureau may view that as a problem for by putting forward a new cultural and artistic climate tourism. before pursuing a doctor. ing the city. we were lucky in the Denver metropolitan a richer. white flight. It can that lost money back? The way the problem was origi- be very tricky at times because politically. more deeply. I ran the Scientific and Cultural Facilities the possibility? I will tell you about how we did and did District in Denver for 10 years. because that was not enough of a challenge. collaboration has become a key recession involving the loss of state and city funding word in my professional life because as Anthony stated. Nobody the city and county of Denver. Washington | February 2008 . wave of a strong need for civic pride. that have resonance for me: the opportunity. as policy will look at. That was the central motivation. not answer those questions in Denver. the pos- sibility. we have an affinity for special districts involving than you could in Denver. Among the arts organizations and advo- Who’s going to be at the table? What is it going to look cates. ate degree in Pittsburgh. many people were leav- erosion of sales tax. This district effort caught the political jurisdiction. What Jane Hansberry do you want it to look like? What is the outcome? Where are you going? Start envisioning the future of what you I am going to provide a backdrop for what it’s like to hope to accomplish. and the challenge. to the major institutions: the zoo. and experience. What kind of a deal are we going to make? ence museum. we might have people in an urban district. and what is now the nature and sci- ing a deal. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS The Denver Scientific and a problem concerning innate human dignity. the 30 obtaining dedicated funding is essentially about mak. the region was experiencing a major tiveness. frame an issue in a way that truly makes sense for everyone. We were dealing with an could find a job in government. and we experienced some favorable unintended When framing an issue. Also. how do we get a great geography of opportunity. The focus of my dissertation was the impact of collaboration on organizational effec. and other issues plagu. there are three driving elements consequences. a case study of homeless opposed to simply replacement dollars. very much involved with governance because regions opportunity. the challenge. In the joke that you could rent an office cheaper in Sri Lanka West. the art museum. I was in graduate school at the time and was want the sole responsibility to rest on the residents of working in public art for the new airport project. They Regionalism is great. We happened to fit into an elegant footprint that promoting innovation. after we had lost city and state funding.

including the performing arts institutions. It can become more difficult. Don’t ever name different funding levels as tier one. the first time the legislation was put forward. or a real force in the community. and then you must make sure you tion is in place. The fact effort drew more of the needed people to the table. That is a good thing. once legisla. The entire initiative could have collapsed. a collaborative player. though. there were some things we were not able sometimes there is agony in the process. and a good thing The process of answering those questions I mentioned to remember: nothing is intractable. There should have been enough people involved so the people would have realized this was not only for the elites. In terms of who was at the table. As civic champion Rex Morgan was able to get people from Michael said. some of what we have been able to do in all of the disciplines who represented a much broader Denver through outreach with innovation. the trustees for the major institutions identified a need and recognized that they needed to be involved. So the legislature basically instructed the people involved to go away and resolve the dispute. it failed because it was just going to consist of tier one and the major institutions. tier two. in my opinion. because the district was proposed by people who you will end up with a much better product if you have wanted to simply replace money for the major institu. Use other words—words and nomenclature matter. Nobody wants to be two or three. this ends up being a struggle. and cross-section of the communities involved. but for the suburban voters and Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. Colleagues like WESTAF and the state arts council were able to offer a depth of collaborative energy and expertise to overcome that obstacle. Unless you want to effectively function as an ATM machine for the major cultural institutions. The table was missing other people who should have been there. because With that said. This dis- trict almost did not happen for that reason. But ultimately to fix. and tier three. It was not perceived as an entity that could be a they’re doing. quality were possible because we made some changes in the legislation. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS the potential for arts and science institutions to be true the smaller community organizations. Washington | February 2008 . and things can be should comprise many inclusive. One thing the district has never been able to fix is the administrative cap. however. In 1986. access. and fixed. The is you can go back and make some adjustments. have the right people at the table—find the right people and err on the side of inclusive. A large portion of the cultural landscape had been omitted. and come back only when they had their act together. So the subsequent partners in every arena of our communities. which allows less than three-fourths of a percent for administration. It’s not easy. change-maker. but cultural representatives were fighting. and I totally believe it was because initially there had not been enough people at the table. diverse conversations. Would we have done some other things differently? Yes. The legislature was halfway into the deal. brainstorming. people who are focused and smart and who know what 31 tions.

or ZAP. with funding going toward recreation. for example. very specific requirements for counties of the first class. become a very popular tax in Salt Lake County—when it was up for reauthorization. This was designated for different uses. Proponents cited the Salt Lake County ZAP tax language was included to make certain that the funding as the model they wanted to replicate. This was a concession by the major arts organizations. on board in support of the initiative would be instrumental nism. so all of the other counties incredible political clout. The tax district is referred only to find out that a greater percentage was going to to as ZAP (Zoos. especially considering and it requires the formation of advisory boards to keep how it has expanded and spread to cities and counties the local governing body informed. nization’s annual operating expenses. so this was also somewhat of a conces- address the financial crisis that the Utah Symphony was sion. rate than what the judges who were up for reelection nizations and facilities. and we knew that getting them have much more latitude with which to adapt this mecha. we believed that in Salt Lake County. But there is only one county of the first class in Utah. it required that organizations offer certain 10 years ago. of experience in administering the funds behind us. With some years phony board until 1993. botanical. As ZAP began dis- throughout the state since its establishment just over tributing funds. The initiative was initially introduced as a way to to its success. This helped the ZAP mechanism since it was originally created. With the popularity of the ZAP tax in Salt Lake government with a greater role in supporting its arts and County. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS The Salt Lake City Zoo. That is. cultural. arts. The city zoo has which is Salt Lake County. Arts The distribution has evolved in an interesting way. They were able to from this tax would not jeopardize the state’s ongoing do so without some of the restrictions on the ways they support and cannot supplant existing funding in place. and Parks district. who realized that the legislature was salaries and rental fees needed to be capped in some made up primarily of people from rural areas outside of cases. notice. It was run by leadership from the sym. other communities began to sit up and take cultural organizations. Then. that was probably a very wise exceed 35% of an organization’s annual operating budget. putting a great deal of money into parks and recreation so they call it the PAR tax. Washington | February 2008 . to ensure that the soccer The Zoos. Having learned from the SCFD. The intent was to provide local received. Arts. One community is power over how those funds were allocated. voters would go done to ensure that the state funding that was already in to the poll assuming they were approving a ZAP-like tax. when the effort was unsuccess. contains some moms and golfers could see how it would benefit them. they are So elected officials were given incredible discretionary developing their own names for them. Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. Looking back. About 12% goes to zoological facilities. and parks. Salt Lake County specified in the statute that an districts getting approved by local voter options in vari- advisory board would be appointed. The legislation has been amended twice days of free admission. nities are creating taxing districts of their own. So one trend we saw was cultural tax In fact. and arts orga. which was even a higher approval recreational. Salt Lake County. spent the funds. parks and recreation than that which was going to arts. The advisory board has spent message and become more inclusive of other cultural a great deal of time writing specific language concern- organizations. The and Parks District statute specifically says that in Salt Lake County. place would not be eliminated. but without any specific percentages two representatives from the state arts agency. we 32 ful. and Parks). This effort was driven by a group of people ing qualifying expenses. which must include ous communities. Another is the RAP tax. but as other commu. 30% of the revenue will go to support recreational facilities. Margaret Hunt This was a deliberate strategy implemented after the legislation failed the first time. So the revamped initiative was crafted in a way that was more attractive to the rural areas of The statute indicates that the amount of funding cannot the state. and to determine how to change the regard to their expenses. The funding is distributed in proportion to the orga- facing at the time. zoological. Arts. outside consultants were brought in to analyze have discovered how creative organizations can get with what went wrong. decision for a number of reasons. it was approved by over The funding mechanism in Salt Lake County goes toward 70% of the voters.

In Cache County in northern Utah. It has been interesting to see the distribute funds. I think it has a population of 250 and the town did occur subsequently. These communities one county to five counties. and 45% for recreation. and providing cities with funding of a dollar per person What are we tracking with regard to the ecosystem. and Holladay are starting versations can include developing and supporting new to look at whether they are receiving their proportionate needs. the specific require- growth. as based on their population. Keep in It seems like the theme thus far has been learning from mind that a considerable portion of this funding entered the successes and challenges of history relating to the picture in 2006. The con- West Valley City. authorize these taxes while it was still viable. the to efforts for tax reform—communities hoped to get tax particulars are determined by the city or town council. if not all of them. Utah has provided statewide fund. Also several of them took County is an area that has been highly impacted by gas multiple attempts—if not with the legislature. so formation of the tax district was to stabilize the major arts they are trying to determine how to spend it. and new challenges. how to frame these. which has amounted with the voters. 33 From 1997 to 2006. how are the ripples north of Salt Lake. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS As Kris mentioned. All of its funding. with regard to the “Pay more. and to 10 individual cities are getting very creative about how they authorize and throughout the state. As I mentioned. So. 40% of its funding is is the ecosystem we are trying to design? How do we designated for the arts. and of the Salt Lake County program. West Jordan. Washington | February 2008 . 55% us make sense of what we are proposing for different is designated for arts. perhaps and oil exploration. I already that a crisis mentality seems to have initiated most of mentioned Salt Lake County’s distribution formula. That is a significant statewide invest- these cultural tax districts. a small ski resort outside of Cedar City. such as removing $1 million for major when we have these conversations. So. Weber County entrepreneurship and the role of public funding and pub- addressed that concern by deliberately providing a dollar per person based on population. since the beginning of 2006. districts created before changes were made in the tax The smallest community we have is a community called structure. but it did not impact what we is generating about $16. 50% for recreation. framing certainly was a consistent to just over $4 million since the tax was passed in 2004. recreational uses. which is groups of people. different municipalities. up the governance and the administration of the districts. well as the initial investments? As we think in terms of This is a trend we are beginning to see statewide. which continues to be a strong emphasis funds will likely end up going toward parks. which contains the Park City ski resort area. Its tax district failed on the first vote. and also helps County. Tax reform Utah. Weber County comprises the Ogden area just thinking in terms of a domino effect. But they do not have any arts organizations. for?” question is an important concept. trails. and also as we set projects that the county commission gets to determine. theme up to this point in the discussions. In most cases. shares for arts and cultural organizations. Also.000 per year from sales tax refer to as the boutique taxes. Another concept for me relates to ecosystem: What home of Utah State University. I think the organizations. Municipal leaders in places like with broader participation in arts and culture. new cultural tax districts. In Summit outcome and intended consequences. I think more conversations are needed particularly in Salt Lake County which is made up of 15 about developing more dynamic cultural communities. new opportunities. One thing I have noticed is ment in arts and cultural programs and facilities. The initial purpose of the revenue. It helps guide the ties have chosen to apply this mechanism. of what we implement going to spread throughout the The advocates went back to the voters after they made ecosystem? That can be considered initially at the table some adjustments. Thinking about is used for an arts and recreational facility. and 10% for want this to play out within the ecosystem? Rather than the zoo. we have had nine ments for allocation are not detailed in state statute. Uinta these efforts. the tax district has expanded from equally between arts and recreation. what I think it is interesting to look at how different communi. there were some sudden attempts to Brian Head. This was directly in response except for counties of the first class. ecosystems. an unusual allocation. Kris Tucker ing for the arts of about $113 million dollars. with the remainder split Seminar Proceedings | Seattle.

PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS lic policy related to that ecosystem should be included in these discussions. Washington | February 2008 . All of these concepts should make for a very ripe conversation. 34 Seminar Proceedings | Seattle.

ing the tier levels. It is underway and at the table are leaders of cor- organization. One of the unintended outcomes qualifying expenses for the top 23 organizations with the after Salt Lake County’s tax passed. Multiple municipalities are now competing on the ballot. the state I have given much thought to the challenge concern- arts agency was very involved in the process and help. One unique aspect we saw was a for-profit effort. versus Accordingly. we are just beginning to navigate the process of that lished agencies that had been trying to raise funds. versus larger facilities to meet local community needs? they are re-elected every two years. There are no easy answers. Nor were they getting information about how to build the facility first in their area. In this particular case. I think this whole notion of looking at tiers or these taxes. I immediately started wondering how many categories is very important. which created some resentment there to be competition for that funding. Washington | February 2008 . government. saw the former owners of that for-profit who had become trustees or administrators of the organization making six-figure salaries. That becomes an interesting challenge to 35 newspaper articles about local communities passing evaluate. we began collecting the data. Because it is on the parts of the arts organizations. This master plan. tion for cultural facilities—it’s becoming quite rigorous in tion from an outside perspective to provide technical the Salt Lake County area for a 2. along with our symphony which is a 365-day-a-year paid I came on board three years ago and I began seeing orchestra. I think these are all direct outcomes of this particular organization gets 80% of its revenue from tax having passed and been in place long enough for government sources. information. What As I mentioned. which was incompatible with what Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. a competi- being made at the local level without very good informa. Unintended Outcomes These individuals were also getting their local municipal- ity to construct a new building for them. within the larger counties. I realized that as a state arts agency we de-centralizing them in an urban area. who invest a great deal in funding these facilities. Salt Lake County should be playing a greater role to address those has now instituted a cultural facilities master planning concerns. options. a theater company. We were not at the table for that discussion. freedom and flexibility to design their programs. we are advisory board spent a great deal of time examining starting to see some hardball negotiation regarding how those qualifying expenses. there were. we local communities began considering their own local tax have had an arts organization that has a one-day event. was that highest expenses. The policy dilemma at the state level because they will go to advantage was that local communities felt they had real the state legislature to get funding for that facility. Thus. the ZAP open to both facilities and operating expenses. That is an interesting to provide their local elected leaders with guidelines. local facilities local level can be somewhat inexperienced politicians. and the philanthropic community become a non-profit in order to qualify for the ZAP tax. Margaret Hunt When this legislation was initially proposed. and the individual track of those things. we those funds will be utilized. the percentage for arts and culture is we realized is that there was no state agency keeping not always spelled out in advance. and planning. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS Session Four: Intended and other arts organizations were paying their administrators. and we felt it was our role to do municipalities within our larger counties want their fair so. deliberately decide to porations. but the disadvantage was poor planning. schools of thought that believe it makes sense to cluster larger facilities in a district within a capital city.600-seat Broadway assistance and guidance on how to craft their language style theater. We Recipient definitions consequently implemented policies at the local level to address some of those concerns. Another share of the funding. so there is a lack of I don’t have the answer to that but there are some continuity of knowledge. consequently. So much to the consternation of some of the more estab. But within that first tier category. and they were claiming the lease costs as qualifying expenditures. The tier one category is based on ing to lead the charge. however. and what revenue was being collected. How do we address that? We are challenge we saw was that many of these decisions were also now seeing. Elected officials at the What is appropriate for de-centralized.

a result. use public funds to be fiscally accountable. I con. the focus is is something district organizers have largely been unable on how to keep a specific set of music organizations or to avoid because. aesthetically and creatively accountable. allocated. policy and decisions about allocations are not focused on how funds might best be utilized to support Cultural tax districts unleash a cluster of unintended the development of. An analysis of these impacts. both intended and unin. believe that when significant public dollars are expended s By bracketing out emerging and non-mainstream on any activity. tended. believe. during the organizational phase of a perhaps a botanic garden alive to provide programming. for example. The I will now offer an expanded perspective of each unin- consultation should also consider the need for those who tended outcome. Nearly all of these conse. able and allowed to lose touch with the public. Today. the infusion of substantial new funds into that ecosystem s The largest entitled organizations become untouch- is certain to induce changes. Washington | February 2008 . emphasis on maintaining organizations rather than tural policy contexts into which they are deployed. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS Impact on the development to designated cultural organizations has been essential. and emerging cultural forms or for the development of quences can be linked to the entitlement nature of the unusual one-time events or significant community cultural funding formulas of tax districts. public-dollar entitlements to any entity. cultural tax district effort. the purpose for which they are placed. can inform and improve the development of 36 s The culture of entitlement discourages robust cul- cultural tax districts that are now in the planning stages. This revisiting should occur in the context of s The limited criteria used to qualify organizations for a discussion of the manner in which these allocations funding allocations leaves them unaccountable for help address cultural policy goals that are established in their aesthetic decisions. tural policy discussion that can benefit the arts in I approach this topic with an established position. Nor does it take into account Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. of art and art forms. in order to attract the financial and advocacy support needed to launch the effort. and accountable for serving A major outcome of establishing cultural tax districts is the evolving—not just the present—population. I system from being nimble and responsive. I will propose what I have observed to be the unintended policy consequences of the creation s The entitlement structure prevents the allocation of cultural tax districts. music or horticulture in consequences into the cultural policy environment a community. the qualifications of the recipient should be regularly revisited. the manner in which those dollars are organizations from eligibility for significant funding. of cultural policy I have identified six key unintended outcomes of this approach: Anthony Radich s The entitlement of organizations places an undue Cultural tax districts can and do profoundly affect the cul. This entitlement feature activities that emerge unexpectedly. and the system is insensitive to issues of cultural equity. consultation with the public. I oppose an exaggerated focus on organizations—at the expense long-term. Such consultation should consider the evolving tastes and needs of the public. an The highly structured entitlement system that serves the advance and long-term commitment of dedicated funds largest cultural organizations does not allow for flexibility in the structuring and evolutionary restructuring of cultural experiences for the public. As extent and the public is less well served. If one on the development of art forms. This is the case because the funding sider such entitlements to be poor public policy because allocations related to cultural tax districts are commonly they insulate the recipients of the entitlements to change constructed and then distributed to organizations that rather than motivate them to change. were to imagine local cultural policy as an ecosystem. Nor are provisions made to allow for new in which they are launched. I the long term. Rather. The result is that present cultural programs rather than to the cultural public dollars are not used to their maximum reasonable ideas that underpin the provision of such programs.

This cycle of change can be that extends beyond the relatively small group involved temporarily arrested by the tax-district entitlement sys. some of the most established art forms and the by altering allocation levels. But the most important thing institutions that promote them may shrink in importance that is lost is the development of a knowledge base within and even disappear. video. on the boards of the major entitled institutions. Neither are they in both the sales and the method of consumption for called on to regularly evaluate the level of service pro- music. major changes are taking place should be supported and at what level. Again. and the entitled organizations selection and presentation of cultural forms to be in a will need to find a way to be more responsive to what the more conceptually flexible vessel than that of support for new public wants to do with its cultural dollars. what are sometimes referred to “flagship” organizations. participation in the arts. Why lock the public into discussion on nearly any topic—except the strategy to be financially supporting these institutions instead of the used in the next reauthorization campaign for the district cultural ideas that are most vital to a community? and the interpretation of the statute in the awarding of funds. This funding can and does reshape 37 a scenario can be created in which public monies flow the policy environment—but through omission rather than to them for years even if they attract very little community direction. many to engage the community in substantive discussion on of which seek to participate in different forms of cultural cultural policy. Also reported is that the participation of members of the community are not drawn into forums young people in traditional art forms is low. audiences are declining for a when there is not an annual public process used to number of traditional art forms (National Endowment for allocate the significant funds allocated by the districts. seen by the board is often the major funder of culture in tive entitlement to these entities can be so ironclad that a community by far. they are insulated and behind its peers across the country in vitality and quality have little incentive to raise or participate in discussions when there is very little the board. development when there is little or no leverage the dis- lar attribute is increasingly in high demand. For example. the trict board can use to encourage such behavior? largely locked-up entitlement structure of the tax districts greatly limits their capacity to respond in what is prov. change rather than helping them embrace and adapt to design. Concurrently and allocation panels that consider how cultural efforts in the commercial sector. can do about it? Why question why the larger cultural organizations in the community have failed to unite in Another unintended outcome of the cultural tax district an effort to increase participation or assist with tourism is its inability to be nimble in a time when that particu. Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. According to a 2002 NEA national study of frame and process issues of cultural policy. In addition to their leaders having few levers with which ing to be a rapidly changing world. What is being lost to encourage cooperation and initiatives among the is the capacity to significantly respond to the cultural funded organizations. With funds flowing regardless of the role consider the fact that a cultural group is greatly lagging the tax-district actors are playing. 2004). The result tem that insulates the major cultural organizations from is a community with a diminished capacity to discuss. In today’s more fluid cultural vided and to motivate the organizations to be responsive reality. and books. Washington | February 2008 . While these aircraft carriers of the cultural world may Yet another unintended consequence of today’s cultural have been the source of energy in the past. while others may emerge to be the community about cultural support and cultural policy more heartily embraced. The legisla. Why should the oversight board of the district participation. This is the case even when the district over- largest cultural entities virtually untouchable. the districts have little motivation interests and aspirations of changing populations. The result is an underdevelopment of expression than those provided through the entitlement mechanisms that can strengthen a community’s ability to structure. and enact its cultural future. the Arts. through its charge. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS the need for allocations and decision-making about the it—but change will occur. they may tax districts is they tend to limit the formal cultural policy not be in the present or future. Most tax-district boards are limited to being tooth- The entitlement structure of a tax district presents less auditors of funds distribution and little or no ability to another unintended outcome: it often renders the very make policy. about broad cultural policy issues.

which distributes approximately $40 Aesthetic accountability is another area in which cultural million annually. Instead. That is not the case. even though a community’s interest in manner to a limited number of organizations and to keep an ethnically specific cultural organization might grow. and thus the groups were not allocated tax district board is premeditated. For example. These provisions include those that ensure the a steel ceiling through which they cannot hope to pass growth rate of a tax district’s administrative apparatus until the time of a reauthorization effort. Rather. Those who seek to funding on a top-tier basis. that district oversees the onstrate rigor in their application of aesthetic quality. but they are also a friend of the cultural tax district. One reason for this is that the system of the cultural tax district does not make use of the citizen and expert As a result of this highly restrained administrative panel-review systems employed by many national. Well-intentioned and well-funded cultural orga- of the administration of the district is limited to 1. guarantee that local institutions will remain aesthetically competitive with similar efforts across the country. Surely there is a way to bring key players on board Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. the annual cost vehicles. state. As a result. is limited to 0. the districts are established with provisions that itself unable to recalibrate funding allocations to the level effectively starve policy making around culture in a com. renovation. but they do not always dem- or approximately $206. Nor do they regularly convene such effort in considering the aesthetic quality of what is experts to consider changes in the cultural environment presented for the allocation of its more significant funds. They are One could assume from my presentation that I am not locked into a stable funding stream. decisions related to the allocation of funds. invests no to funding allocations. allocation of approximately $13 million.000. Washington | February 2008 . because there is no annual public tend to pigeonhole organizations that do not represent review of these organizations. structure. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS The limitation of the policy-making powers of a cultural were established. denied the opportunity to grow. Similarly. the community desires. nizations may be entitled. 38 tration of the Denver Scientific and Cultural Facilities District’s (SCFD). tax districts have proven themselves to be weak policy mately $315. a lower-level funding bracket from which—due to set for- cated policy-capable entity. the district finds do this. these entities suffer significant disadvantages. Instead. a number of policy-fostering activities fail to and local level public funders.75% per year or approxi. and inspiration—not abolition. in contrast. To responsive to such growth. during which at is severely restrained. allocation structures for existing cultural tax districts. nization’s overall community impact and the impact of its participation levels and the relation of the findings The cultural tax district structure. In at least two is lacking. that will impact the districts in the future. policy making at the organizational board level. In Salt Lake County. Tax-district distribution rules is a situation where. A The issue of equity is also an important factor in the further downside to this lack of aesthetic accountability structure of a tax district. ered locally with district dollars is competitive in terms of ing and relate that to future allocation models. This is the case because These important but often flawed mechanisms require the organizations were not large and considered to be reform. they were situated in establish the districts seldom seek to build a sophisti. these groups encounter munity. ensure that significant amounts of funds flow in a stable One result is that. Although often proffered as a rationale for developments across the country that may collectively district reauthorization. they are motivated to mulas—they find it almost impossible to migrate upward.5%. increased funding alone is no affect their community’s cultural success. not in the the tax district that supports culture cannot readily be hands of those who supervise the funds allocation. In the Denver area. the tax districts usually do not consider aesthetic quality as a major criterion in annual conduct research on topics such as the funded orga. quality with what other communities are receiving across they do not convene experts to advise them regarding the country. A place culturally significant organizations when the districts to start is with the core entitlement feature of these enti- ties. They also do not Nor does it evaluate whether the quality of what is deliv- formally evaluate ways the district’s population is chang. the local conversation that the dominant culture. least an attempt can be made. Such reviews commonly take place.000. This issue is is most evident in extends into the community about their aesthetic stature how funding structures disadvantage ethnically based and the quality of their aesthetic ambitions for the future organizations by the funding structure. the adminis.

Washington | February 2008 . Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. they must look medium-sized rehearsal and performance space. Larry Meeker 2008. If the with different cultural appetites. That is the future of the cultural tax of asking an institution’s board members for $250. creating opportunities to celebrate its cultures. When you consider who has the capital a public process where the public investment in culture to invest in such an initiative. But how do we go from proven public sector processes of accountability. If we want to seek their listening tour visiting communities around the state. regional organizations to consider the transportation but economics come into play. I would imagine. imagining and collectively realizing a community with a which we will have to do in Arizona. to $500. In I don’t know that any of the individual arts institutions are 2005-2006 we undertook a very ambitious statewide great sources of public policy.000 is their expectation of getting something out of their investment. about encouraging more inclusion? transparency. and if you look at what it costs to mount a voter initiative. and who determines who sits at the table. to undercut the development of a robust cultural policy. and the second was the need for small. So you weigh those financial Margaret Hunt resources against the good will of many of us here want- I would like to add something about the importance of ing to expand that gathering and include various voices. it takes about $3 creative future. I think we need Certainly. If the funding they will be the ones at the table. They will also determine allocation policy of cultural tax districts is disconnected who sits at the table. A natural outcome needs and desires. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS in an effort to develop a cultural tax-district effort without Ricardo Frazer imposing a rigid entitlement system that can do so much What troubles me is the notion of who sits at the table. As we for ways to broaden the base of support for the arts in think about young people and our future audiences. It does. input. the cultural community can rise to the chal- to look at that issue and resolve it because there are too lenge of sharing resources with growing communities many organizations and people who are excluded. it is invariably the major can constantly be recalibrated to best reflect these institutions and their board members. which Myra will institutions need to do to connect in a more meaning. ways to improve the creative lives of its children. it very accessible and easy for them to get involved. we are those contributions to make an initiative a success? preparing to institute a commuter rail system in April.000 district. perhaps we should ask them how they would like Two things came up consistently about their concerns. to see the money spent if they couldn’t get a nickel of it? One was the loss of arts education in our public school That question forces them to look at the larger picture— system. We have had a number ful way with their communities. the result will not be be good for cultural development in the long term. One concern involves money. Robert Booker While the public sector approach may seem messy and We are currently looking at that with the Maricopa 39 inefficient to some. which is the area of Phoenix. however. discuss more when she speaks. finding Scottsdale. Who can actually make overlay in this regard. Those aspirations are best addressed in to $5 million. then tricts as ATMs for private sector interests. We need to be looking much further into the future in terms of how we get particularly young people I think one of the problematic tendencies we have is involved in our arts organizations and how we can make looking to the arts institutions for public policy too often. I can assure you that of large meetings where literally everyone was invited to community has very little interest in “saving” a cultural imagine the possibilities of $50 to $60 million coming organization. and public participation. I also believe the cultural large organizations like the symphonies and the ballets community can come to stop considering cultural tax dis- are leading the charge for the cultural tax districts.to because in order to benefit themselves. engaging in it may be just what many Partnership for Arts and Culture (MPAC). and Tempe. have a strong interest in into Maricopa County. we general. Along the Wasatch front. should pay attention to our transportation planning as an integral element.

it has evolved. and everyone else with some exceptions can get it the next reauthorization formed a political action com- passed through the vote. Many of them actually ing together as a coalition. How do we make sure that sit on numerous boards of this kind. and the various think tanks writing these checks—to the extent that they are able—to is going to provide a higher level of thought about work. it I live two blocks from the Denver Zoo. The key smaller organizations with respect to who brings what to to remember. I do not recall what the most are a draw. however. I don’t recall the 40 Larry Meeker specific budget but it was less than a million. Only then can they appreciate the role of the big organizations in pushing these initiatives through. So I think it public policy infusion that will come from the academics. I also want to remind everyone about legal in the past. Ultimately. That’s easier said we have the richest assortment of people around the than done but it is important and it certainly relates to the table? I think you have the opportunity to do it much in inclusion question of getting the right people involved a much smarter way than any of the rest of us has done at the table. The money has primarily come from the two is a polar bear. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS Anthony Radich Dale Erquiaga I think some advance work is needed to educate the In regard to campaign costs. whenever we have made recent changes. the ad agency that I worked with handled that campaign. delicate interplay main business civic organizations which collectively rep- between the involvement of the big institutions and the resent about 130 leading companies in town. In the interest of full disclosure. they need to It came from contributions by various arts organizations understand the implications of cultural policy and how and from foundations that support the arts. Foundations of these non-profit arts orga- nizations cannot give significant amounts of money to Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. a lot of money back then. take off their arts-institutions hats. in that case because it was a single county. which was through the legislature and the Mayor’s office. I think the big organizations can pass it approximately $750. However if we want to involve the broader arts community and Margaret Hunt in order to be effective decision makers. however. The majority of the money came from the major Some people identify with small groups. How about Denver? Where big institutions have more leverage with the public? Or did that money come from and how much? do you think the local. is important to try and get business civic leaders who are the government employees. even if you do not attend. can you tell us where broader arts community about public policy and how it the money came from for the reauthorization of ZAP in has progressed. It’s no accident has cost probably between $1. Frank Hamsher Jane Hansberry In St. Dale Erquiaga That education process is not something that can be done overnight—it takes years. The are represented in those civic organizations. but when the institutions. for exam. There is nothing wrong with working 2004? intensively with the large cultural organizations. Washington | February 2008 . It was also not Who do you think pushes it through? Do you think the a media-heavy campaign. is that the boards of those big the table. In 1994. both are instrumental in getting the initiatives passed.000 in 1987 and 1988. So I think it’s a combination.5 and $3 million to fund that the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District logo a campaign. I think recent costs were. mittee. I believe. Most recently. that same group for ple. constraints. This is an important. I think you are all poised to have a discussion arts institutions are highly populated with people who that is much larger than only the arts community. community-based organizations ultimately have more political influence? Jane Hansberry Anthony Radich The trustees and major donors of what would become Tier I mounted a fundraising campaign and raised I think it’s split. Louis. smaller institutions large groups are active and alive in your community they contributed proportionally.

the politics to pay off the bonds needed for the sports stadium end up being every bit as intense I think. and ultimately create an improved artistic City perspective. recreation. which enabled the discussion to get outside of only While the arts are sometimes harder to sell. their fund- the big players. I think in a number of communities around failed bi-state tax initiative came from the sports teams. based on the logic that arts is more acces- arts were to receive half of the money. Larry Meeker David Thornburgh In Kansas City. the whole initiative was That could be the vanguard of getting people to think and tied to a sports agenda and the arts tagged along. The act that way. the case in Atlanta. organizing discus. did give some money out of the SCFD coffers into the it seems possible to open up the arts and public policy most recent campaign election costs. In fact if you begin to think of it that way. Hence. sewers. The arts represent a gathering place heavily on the big corporate players. among others. and collaboration that would perhaps be are located. Washington | February 2008 . But In Atlanta. such as Coca-Cola and Home Depot. easy to gather arts people around the table because we have common goals and we know we will probably Larry Meeker not face too many tough questions. the tax sible and more familiar than transportation or water or revenue stream was to continue for as long as it took other such issues. It’s required by law to do. sports. where a lot of head corporate offices cooperation. and putting up the funding for research. I think there is a great deal of possibil- created a specific task force. A few people attempt David Thornburgh to focus on regionalism when planning for transportation and in other areas. large corporations generally have their own foundations Larry Meeker as well. So they spent a couple opens up a whole new avenue and way of connecting to of years generating publicity before the Mayor actually voters. and getting the media involved before any specific piece of a regional quality of life package. To that end. which they are conversation to those outside of the arts community. they apparently something I think citizens feel politically bound by. the major funding for promoting the 2004 Well in fact. wanted to see it pass. the Metro Chamber of Commerce provided it’s also no accident that we promote these quality of life the big push behind the initiative. as a sion groups. Sometimes the Michael Rushton message and the reality do not coincide perfectly. At least from a Kansas what we do. region when you have no vision for the region itself. But it’s no acci- renovation. Yet broadening the scope would pull in the business and political communi- We have been talking about vision in the arts and how ties. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS political campaigns. Further. and other things Kris Tucker you might notice on a property tax bill. We have a One Kansas City campaign in an effort to promote regionalism. the country the logic is that conversations about arts and The sports teams had a clear economic interest in it and culture at the regional scale are where you ought to start. dent that the successful campaigns have built a broad 41 appeal that connects to average voters. not to cess? It seems difficult to create a vision for the arts in a their tax exempt funds. ing needs are relatively small. but this is not without difficulties. I don’t think the arts focus enough on and community vision. in the Philadelphia community the editorial seems that those of us working in the arts could lead and political support for creating some kind of regional the charge for regionalism. Are there any thoughts about mechanism simply involves making a statement about Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. So effectively what they are doing ways that the arts might lead that regional visioning pro- is going to their donor base to make this happen. which pertain to arts. regionalism. roads. That is fairly typically for people to have a discussion about regional thinking. libraries. I’m not sure if that’s true. So the city was able to draw on corporate sup- port. In fact. art is not Looking at my notes about the SCFD. Then the Mayor did rely ity in what you said. Those more difficult to have in other areas. Further. which would create more diversity in we create these campaigns. It On that point. They essentially started packages. This differentiates them from school districts. then it specific initiative was developed.

it’s something I was struck by what was said about the way social ser- in between. because ing and executing on a regional scale is where we ought the advocates are already sitting around the table rather to start. In framing that. toward—programs that are going to have some effect. not the symphony. a campaign. It is interesting to think about goals invite interested organizations to apply if they would be and outcomes and possibly awarding money based on interested in delivering those types of programs. Louis had essentially decided to I found the comment Anthony made about supporting go for a tax increase even though it already received $20 the art rather than the institution very provocative. for instance. have passed too. It seems that the ZMD wanted to go along with them. It would be a completely different way of munity theater. I believe that part of his success is due to This discussion goes back to a couple of the comments being more cognizant of geographic distribution of Anthony made. But the It is interesting because in terms of supporting music zoo. I’m million per year. About four years ago. because every time there is a poll in the Think about the way government provides funding to non. The business community had to be public funding for the arts. we want to 42 very heavy-handed with all of the institutions collectively be specific enough about what the new policy would to stop this contemplated tax increase effort. we can follow in other issue areas. Washington | February 2008 . priority for public funding in the quality of life area in our helps us be flexible at the expense of specificity. It’s about building a model and a prototype that than the people who have the broader considerations. profit social service agencies and so on. The number of people served. Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. a cultural tax district could deter- vice agencies are funded. The organiz. city councils and so on do not happen here. They decided to go for it for a very simple thinking about how supporting music might be the mes- reason: because they could. One was the support of the activities funding. yet it is important to us to have a mechanism some bruised egos involved in this process because the that is very flexible and creates dynamic opportunities. I think there is something doing things. The other four institutions in sage instead of supporting the symphony. nor does the government assert Susan Coliton that it will fund services for poor people. Namely. because they we are facing a paradox—we are trying to determine how did not want to be left out when the popular polar bear we can be strategic about framing the discussion about symbol is being used. some of the things that normally get Kjris Lund arbitrated through a political process of legislatures and In response to the point about framing through activities rather than through organizations. I was also thinking about Dana Gioia and his success in Frank Hamsher raising more public money for the National Endowment of the Arts. Someone asked how we get mine specific programs that can meet certain goals.” They were told that the focus should be on actually accomplishes both. the zoo in St. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS determining how to encourage regionalism. was going to see if it could rather than the symphony. and away from the tiers. I ZMD organizations had to hear. maintaining the park and address the problems in the Michael Rushton symphony. simply because it could. communities people are willing to pay for the zoo. but it would certainly allow for growth—for in between music and the symphony that we can look new organizations to enter the system and for flexibility. and by putting new funds into highly accessible rather than the organizations. It probably would between the two. like public fees to social ser- programs could include after-school programs or com- vice agencies. reminder of the fact that since this is not part of a broader political process. The agencies do not apply for money. and until those issues were resolved they were not welcome to request a tax increase. “This is not the current am wondering if framing it as music. and one was the whole programming—the programmatic approach was very question of how much is enough. which are actually specific programs. it seems like there are three different stages in this: the legislation. An example might be useful in terms of the funding ques- Kris Tucker tion and how it relates to the inclusion issue. I think there is something in get a 50% increase in its property tax. This discussion is a effective for him. or if it community. There were accomplish.

ing to increase leverage if you wanted to encourage growth in the individual or corporate donor base? This is Dale Erquiaga actually quite common now on the regional scale. public money is best utilized when you can maximize its leverage. the mid-tier organizations get their annual funding based David Thornburgh upon their prior year’s income—not on expenses. For example. Demand exists at the aggregate level. We are ing. about which is bigger and draws more attendance. There We are using a model that’s 45 years old. So if you wanted to apply our organizations was enormously high. in part because most of them have made important hear elements of that in what Anthony and Michael have contributions to the community. after what Anthony said but in order to get funding you must get it from private or about the administrative funding available for an entity to individual sources. I do not mean one should not work employing an entirely supply side strategy. those places. There is a running battle between a big difference. but on For those of you in existing cultural tax districts. 43 Philip Horn ing how it is allocated. Also. as I would describe it. By saying this. They should be part of that discus. In state arts agencies funding has a match requirement. you are That is true with the cultural districts in Utah as well. The funding the organizations and not the discipline. Stephanie Stebich you can put up $5 million for a programmatic initiative. that interest time. with respect said about government services rather than engaging in to maximizing those public dollars and leveraging them private philanthropy. I don’t think we have to abandon the institutions. If we don’t talk about Jane Hansberry institutions. with the public? Otherwise. Instead. so people parts of the commercial music sector because it makes voted to support them. and now we development that includes base economic development are merely applying tax money to it. as much as possible. We recently did a public opinion survey in cess which allowed the district Board of Directors to set the greater Seattle area and the name recognition of that kind of criteria in motion. I’m curious to know whether that has been considered. But again. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS and then operation of distribution. how will we make that connection able to ask for more evidence of other kinds of support. What role does the activities where dollars are put up and universities or state arts agency play in this discussion? private companies have to match them. regional institutions. But Margaret Hunt when you entitle organizations in a tax district. So demand is built in both of there ever consideration made to matching public fund. You do that by constantly revisit. it ideally means that each year a process should be utilized to determine how maximum Jane Hansberry leverage for public good can best be achieved. That question came to me also. Washington | February 2008 . determine how to distribute funds. my view. happen if we thought about a demand side strategy? I sion. the formulaic funds never had any kind of a Anthony Radich challenge grant or matching grant apparatus. Some of The SCFD does have some public demand side. whereas it would make slightly less of a the Denver Zoo and the Museum of Nature and Science difference to someone else. it seems like we miss the connection with No. What would with the institutions. the only place was in the discretionary funds pro- the public. I am wondering about the notion of these entities doing research and perhaps cultural policy work because that is exactly what I see as Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. The ini- that public money might be better allocated to extend to tial entities were the large. If we do not talk for a project with discretionary funds the board was about the institutions. which is that we are working from a model we bor- ultimately lies in access to what an institution is provid. was income and attendance. rowed from private philanthropy 40 years ago. in the way are dozens of states that now have regional economic state arts agencies and philanthropy works. Such an approach furthers the public’s interest—an interest that is probably largely not This begs the question that I have been considering for a positioned for institutional survival.

who is group. and county arts agencies. I wanted to point have talked about how to ensure stability in state funding out that when an entity distributes $40 million per year.” because the entity has no feel- themselves into a guaranteed funding scenario. Part of that in my view. Washington | February 2008 . if it fails. in my view. our former governor cut out all of the state funding Detroit area. we may find that legislators will not be open to providing funding to the state arts agency as well. If that of the SCFD and hence was politically marginalized. it eliminates. when an absolute tions received that. Jane how to do that. level of public support. However. and people would The other question I want to raise relates to state arts disagree with me. like what happened in the 2002. but going from 47th to 50th was a setback. In revenue source decreased. several strong city arts agencies. which dropped massive amounts of revenue. Some of the smaller organiza- a return on their investment. and what do we think about a number as big as 35%? Margaret Hunt Larry Meeker Our law. that dance to elicit a rich cultural policy discussion about everything else. local arts councils. that concerns me—perhaps they are overly Our state arts agency was not involved in the formation dependent on a particular source of revenue. That to me is a short-term plan. How much cultural planning is going on within the orga- nizations and with whom? We have heard about how Robert Booker some of these initiatives get started due to a crisis. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS the arts commissions’ role. which can be problematic. and major institutions have suddenly lost to those seven counties of the SCFD. We worry that if the initiative passes. whether the district is simply the ATM. when we are currently facing a I don’t think it has to be. but in Arizona we have district entities. cially in a year like 2009. while the city and I would like to see that particular language because we the state provide these other services. involves removing some of the more agencies and their historical tendency to be very mindful absolute entitlement dimensions to the extent possible. We have a great relationship with cultural plan. Is anyone engaging in long-term cultural Maricopa Partnership (MPAC) and so does our citizens’ planning and trying to create that vision? If so. espe- ing and merely writes checks. in Utah. it by asserting it in the language. we tried want to go into tax district efforts knowing they will get to achieve a 10% figure. So this initiative could cause some Anthony Radich negative repercussions for the public funding currently It is a dance that could be orchestrated. regarding available in Arizona.7 billion deficit in Arizona. but I’m uncertain as to is making cultural policy through your check writing. it’s a matter of orchestrating potential $1. Or. but the larger organizations—like the entitlement is in play. and instead received about deal of the cultural policy discussion. a great symphony—certainly didn’t. then the institution would Colorado down to 50th in the nation in terms of state arts immediately be in crisis and would almost have to close funding. But when I hear that an organiza- tion could be receiving up to 35% of its budget from Jane Hansberry public dollars. When I was the director in Minnesota. I can’t imagine that they would lock Giant with a Lobotomy. The three of us communicate on a regular basis doing it? and we hosted three major listening sessions together. and certainly not a long-term That is a worry of mine. four to five percent. This applies appointed to do the administration for the cultural tax not only to the state arts agency. Our budget is up for revision every year knows I have at times called the SCFD the “Jolly Green 44 at the legislature. of the amount of money that they grant to a single orga- But that is a controversial idea because organizations nization. contains specific language that pre- vents existing state arts funding from being reduced. People who are developing will simply say that the vote of the people is clear and and modifying cultural policy for a district may have a may cut funding for the arts commission—because the different kind of training potentially than people who are public voted against funding for the arts. So can we imagine that there is an appropriate funding. We have never had very great per capita state its doors. then the legislature Seminar Proceedings | Seattle.

cultural and zoological organizations. the This is where the limited 0. Each one would like to offer its and the region cannot support every facility or program. That is what we are engaging in currently in Philadelphia. How does the relationship among local licly owned or operated recreational and zoological facili- government—cities. and do Jane Hansberry not represent a broad policy. it Debra Twersky hasn’t improved. Margaret Hunt Michael Killoren This language is included in the purpose statement for This has been an interesting discussion about inclusivity. Well it has been somewhat Darwinian in the Denver Julie Goodman Hawkins metropolitan area.75% allocation for administra- communities of Shoreline. Those plans typically include three to five years per orga- nization. working with these individual communities. engaged if only at that level. Typically we do that largely 45 it has not been incredibly organized and people have with our members and then somewhat more broadly in essentially had to come together and coordinate those the sector.and mid-sized organizations that need funding while new communities Well most arts organizations. It states. we encountered many people who were Mayor’s race. There will continue to be an ongoing need resources. also something we are going to be taking beyond our such as Lakewood which is to the west of Denver. unfortunately. the Utah region. We are seeing considerable interest in cultural plan- ning occurring in new suburban communities that have Anthony Radich reached a certain size. where the different support of its recreational and zoological facilities and layers of the public sector have influenced the develop. at least those of them with are growing. but they are isolated to an organization. Federal Way. and tion is a real obstacle. We have an organization called the Denver Metro conversation into the general public as well. The most significant legislature intends to permit the counties of the state of role that the public sector has played is probably in facil. Utah to enhance public financial support of Utah’s pub- ity investment. That is about as and I wonder how we can keep the political entities far out as I think most of the large organizations prepare. Burien. just six miles away. and the state—change as ties and botanical. through Network that promotes communication about economic a combined effort with a local group called Great development among different areas in the region. citizens certain cultural amenities. That is part of the work that David is doing with us. I would hear people six of those communities would like to have a major regional miles apart proposing the same kind of idea for a theater. who’s at the table. declares that…without jeopardizing the state’s ongoing tions comes from the Seattle region. its botanical. but there is no county-wide comprehensive plan. Particularly as it Jane Hansberry relates to cultural facilities. cultural and zoological organizations a result of a regional influx of funding? Capital needs owned or operated by institutions or private. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS David Brown do not go away. and support. What the SCFD has done is wonderful for the suburbs. During Expectations which did a lot of public work around the my tenure. Washington | February 2008 . counties. performing arts center. People actually have places to go in the suburbs now. Here in Washington State. as in what suburb gets there first. It’s A few suburbs have made some great things happen. Jane was using her free time to Bellevue have recently created a cultural plan. This spring we are going to be taking that efforts. They are taking on the issue of what a unaware that their neighbors were considering doing the regional fund to support the arts is all about in general same thing or developing the same kind of arts program public discussions. the ment of our cultural infrastructure. develop long-range plans. and there are still small. “The Utah legislature finds and equity. non-profit Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. But organization’s membership. There needs to be more interaction among neighborhoods and suburbs. We are help people with respect to cultural facilities. One of my ques. I think it is certainly a dilemma that deserves a closer look in policy because every one It’s true that it became frustrating.

” and if so. There is also a I think it would be great if state arts agencies and tax capital planning piece. now that Julie I have a quick observation. for example. 900. varies so much from one place to the next. opportunities. that there is a set of things you believe you need to have in order to provide the kind of quality of life Anthony Radich and competitiveness package you want. I am arts agencies relate to these regional initiatives. Non-residents are knowledgeable enough those. Somewhere in If some group. where there is a population of by regions. The role of the state with ing numbers are now leaving off the Missouri tagline. So if we implementation. the businesses making those t-shirts may have a Somewhere in that blend of states and regions and then perception of how others view the region even though the local and county governments. Missouri” on them. I think there is another important concept. One outcome that I believe would be very tions we need to carry out. and they have the tell them what town I’m from unless they pointedly ask. or region has a major tax district that is allocating thousands or millions of dollars a year. which also have very important functions. but I keep coming back and use tax. We have to revert back to the “form follows func. and a product district efforts had significant conversations during the improvement piece. tive assets at a regional scale. I believe they reflect the local sense of assets. My indicator of metro Kansas opportunity and that they reflect people’s experiences in City regional thinking has always come from walking their daily lives. Regional approaches David Thornburgh have to do with the quality of life package. Delaware essentially which is the perception we think others have of the is a region. Some of you know Peggy Amsterdam. and most still have “Kansas City.000 people in a very small area. That is why I mentioned the notion of matching about Kansas City geography and they will often ask if I funds. She used to run the state arts the way people and businesses live and work is defined organization in Delaware. which tie in with their identities. along with the different kinds of services with a cultural tax district that non-profits like the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance. Minds are spot. and challenges and work toward regionalism. Consider through the Kansas City airport and observing the word- sports teams. I typically will not local municipalities or even regions. that did not happen in Denver unfor- think about the geography and about the different func. act. Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. Companies draw on competi. are the functions necessary to achieve that? David Thornburgh Susan Coliton I want to go back to the important question of how state As someone outside of the public policy arena. which tend to connect people. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS organizations through the imposition of a county sales all that I think is the right answer. Washington | February 2008 . ing on the various t-shirts and sweatshirts for sale. a marketing piece. then it’s a question of sorting beneficial would be for the state agencies to provide out the roles of state and regional entities. advantage of already existing. entity. who runs the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance. I truly curious if all the participants have the same definition of believe that regional approaches are optimal because “region. states have greater revenue-raising abilities than am from the Kansas or Missouri side. because it people and businesses. Even acknowledging the 46 word region means quite different things in quite different Larry Meeker states. what is that definition? they fit people’s lives—the are the geography of opportu- nity to which I referred last night.” That is how it is stated in the legislative to the question of what are we trying to do here and what language. increas- fund activities at that scale. tunately. I appreciate you asserting that and I are working with her. I believe that regions are the geography of region in which they live. While We really ought to be looking for ways to plan. for both I bet they do not all have the same definition. As a result. multiple regions should be to help its regions foster While these businesses have no political charge to think some kind of a partnership in order to understand their or act regionally. So I think we as individuals clearly think regionally. I think is the sweet they may not hold that perception themselves. difficult to change! tion” notion. We talked about excellence and early organizational stage then continuing through the how some of these funds can contribute to that. elsewhere in the state are provided on a regional basis.

Collaboration and answering these broader questions are critical. Everyone needs money. Another is a broader conversation of the arts needing money. because of economic policy. the state arts agency offer general programming grants in amounts of let’s say $53. tying ourselves to someone else’s boat because zoos or parks are more popular. and so on? They could play a different role—a complementary role. Shouldn’t the state arts agencies convene on behalf of the people in a region. level of opportunity services grants? Maybe it should. What I’ve heard is that it is not enough to simply decide that we need money.000 to the same organization that receives $3 million from the SCFD? Shouldn’t the state arts agency offer a different mix of support to these entities? This perhaps relates back to that cultural policy conversation. and because people need the arts. Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. and/or they are prohibited by federal law from paying for them. A third pertains to recreation. educating business leaders about cultural policy interests. with respect to a creative class and creative economy. so no approximately $40 million from seven counties. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS should the state arts agency provide exactly the same Whose job is this anyway? Apparently it is nobody’s job. Regarding the earlier political question. which leads us back to where David began yesterday— but probably not. and the second is who is at the table and who is this for? Who gets the funds? I think those questions are definitive and will lead you to a couple of places in your discussion. I have consistently heard two questions. Paul appears to be the leader in economic development. One is the crisis of arts groups need- ing funding. Perhaps the most troubling piece concerns the unanswered question of who is in charge. The first is how do we frame the issue. Those four paths I mentioned are all connected to the same questions. Minneapolis-St. All of these efforts relate back to the question. “Why are you doing it?” You are doing it because of crisis. Lastly. 47 Dale Erquiaga I will attempt to summarize the morning’s discussions. Washington | February 2008 . and not a competitive one. which represents a smaller subset and has been used less. In Denver. The arts community is not at the table at the right time to participate in regional cultural planning. I have heard four paths which these organizational efforts or district efforts have gone down. we seem to be most successful when more people are involved and someone else pays for the campaign to pass these initiatives because our arts organizations don’t have that kind of money. the mechanism collects regional entities do not truly exist in government. Should one has ownership of this issue.

T. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS References National Endowment for the Arts. 2002 survey of public participation in the arts (Research Division Report #45). 48 Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. Washington | February 2008 . Washington. B. & Nichols. DC: Bradshaw. (2004).

Much is made of the state line. we passed Union Station. Missouri and in Jackson County. That seeds the problem. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS Session Five: Proposals For you had all this funding. I think the proper question we might Johnson County. I some of the politics in the area today. The initiative was I believe the bigger issue is urban versus suburban and devised behind closed doors and then the plan was to the question becomes: What is urban? Kansas City determine if the concept could be sold to others. being sown. Kansas have asked is: If you can’t get a nickel of the funding. It is not uncommon believe the arts community would be wise not to assume to see city council members and other governmental the sports piece caused the defeat and assume the arts officials in Kansas City. Voters back to the 1920s when Kansas City was ruled by insid- did not need to take a further look at the arts component. One is the Metropolitan Arts Council that led the charge for the last initiative. by virtue of history and geography most of the I mentioned earlier that we had a bi-state proposal tied major cultural institutions are on the Missouri side of the to the sports teams that failed. the fact that Kansas and Missouri were on opposite sides edge. to my knowl. City. the southwest quadrant would include 49 Union Station. the sports located. the arts community was somewhat involved in Kansas City lies on the Kansas side and in Johnson and wanted to propose a plan but their attempt was not County in particular. nationally recognized parks. public school system. Further. As I mentioned earlier. While much of the wealth lies on the Kansas side of the state line. In particular. Kansas. an icon of Kansas City. the focus shifted to restoring as a quadrant. ers often tied to sex. how would you like to see it spent? This question might Larry Meeker have resulted not only in a better marketing campaign. If you plot on tiative was strongly defeated in Johnson County. you will find that the patronage stems primarily stadium renovations would occur in Jackson County on from Johnson County. Most of the early development Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. a map where the institutions and their patronage are was its tie to sports teams. “Well. I think a major part of the state line and closer to the downtown area of Kansas reason—some would say the sole reason—the 2004 ini. Kansas. part of the proposal was fine. taxing district. the politics of subur- Kansas City. If you think of metro Kansas City organized. Kansas City passed the first bi. That opportunity came in 2004. Missouri in court facing various charges. Consequently. Two entities in Kansas City. but perhaps in a better proposal. The quality of life in seemed to create a sense of entitlement. My perspective was that the arts were never examined The politics of administering any regional arts funding is very closely in the process because those who were also a big issue. the arts would get its turn. Johnson County. in that when the county is deemed to be quite high. This creates a lack of confidence in any kind of administrative structure No active regional arts funding proposal exists today in for addressing the arts. About a decade ago. and a next time will be the time for the arts.” This attitude nationally recognized library system. we are seeing more and the Missouri side and there was voter concern about more arts and cultural institutions streaming down into enriching sports owners who were already rich. mentally tied to the fact that a large amount of the wealth At the time. Out of that came Johnson County. gambling. At the has never truly had an urban core in the way that San heart of the marketing campaign was the question: “If Francisco or New York do. The Pendergast mentality—which dates against the initiative wrote it off based on sports. with a nationally recognized today: the notion that. It is one of the wealthiest something that I think still plagues the arts community counties in the country. and alcohol—still pervades which I believe was plagued with significant problems. state cultural tax. are pursuing something with respect to a larger in the Civil War is an easy angle for sports writers. Washington | February 2008 . albeit some initial seeds of a proposal are bia also have an effect. the next opportunity arose. In addition. how would you spend it?” The New Cultural Tax Districts idea was to put some of those things up on a billboard and show people what could potentially happen. Missouri. The legislation was authorized in the Missouri and Kansas legislatures to allow citizens in The issues shaping public arts funding today are funda- several counties that spanned the tax line to be taxed.

with the assertion In the past year. Given Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. institutions. There is somewhat of a “poor me” away from their neighborhoods? About seven years later mentality downtown that is not evident in the mentality of in 1931. but you do not get many chances when you support of a few key foundations established by local begin proposing plans to voters. philanthropists. on the tenth or twelfth attempt. Those two divergent cultures clash quite clearly in their heirs will maintain the same priorities as they begin Kansas City. an addition to the Nelson-Atkins Museum that we deserve the benefits that come with the initiative. This notion is not very popular we face—the public does not perceive a critical need. Even though the initia. Missouri has a history of passing initiatives new performing arts center. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS dispersed relatively quickly due to the stockyards. was built there in 1924. the initial four years’ funding for the arts was earmarked for the Kansas City. once tive was defeated. Much of the campaigning by the institutions ban area. We have a brand new museum. I believe the key will ultimately be focusing on what will which is the second largest museum in the Kansas City change and how we can market that change. the groundwork is in place for building the case for continuing the tax to All of this relates to what I believe is the next problem provide ongoing support. These people are not young and despite the Kansas City. grassroots efforts. it stays down for a long time and completed anyway and is scheduled to open in 2010. that particular project is completed. Once an icon. that private funding is going relatively well. there is implicit accountability. Perhaps we area. Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art on the Johnson County Community College campus in Johnson County. These are impressive accomplishments. which we have in new ways. In the 2004 bi-state initiative. On institutions. The most recent proposals have included a few blocks away from the Country Club Plaza. I think the political approach to these efforts is quite respect to the arts?” different on the Kansas and Missouri sides of the state line. The politics of Kansas are focused on grassroots. On the Kansas side. to administer some of the funds remains. it was a very defined tier structure with a focus on the major equally dependent upon the automobile and in a subur. and for the proposal itself involved comparisons to other 50 cities such as Denver and St. was completed. It was a landmark initiative dependent upon the public using automobiles We must also engage the suburbs. America’s first shopping center. the which relates back to the entitlement mentality. the question of whether down. Washington | February 2008 . the Nelson-Atkins Museum was founded just the suburbs. We are also building a performing arts center— need to undertake another project first. The most significant risk for the major arts institutions—as the Johnson County commissioners are responsive to well as the entire community—is the fact that only a hand. the performing arts center is being an initiative is defeated. Kansas City provide the public with an answer to these questions: has perhaps the most suburban metropolitan area in What will change? What will the metropolitan area look the world—the area is spread wide and is not densely like if we pass this tax? How will the metropolitan area populated. Louis. or is there truly a need that must be addressed with ture. we must which produced a foul odor in the area. there are not many opportunities to bring a similar initia- The public must be asking. I think the path to success in regional arts funding in Kansas City is going to be a public process that ulti- mately creates a vision for the arts in Kansas City. Projects allow you to structure. the Country benefit from this tax? Club Plaza. “is the arts community crying tive to the voters—there is a difference in the political cul- wolf. Would they actually go shopping and drive not done very well. Union Station’s designed by Moshe Safdie—which will be a phenomenal restoration was such a project. Missouri side. It may even do for Kansas City what the Sydney be specific about what you are doing and about where Opera House has done for Sydney in terms of becoming the money goes. with institutions and organizations that want to move These things are happening with private money and the quickly. They want to hear public input and ful of people provide the bulk of the funding for the major they want to see a lot of people behind an initiative. the approach is more top- having established foundations.

Our region was dead last in the amount of adopted. and it found that we needed some- for leaders in Arizona. total contributed revenue for all government. board is largely developer-driven. Denver. One is through a The two findings that stopped and changed the dialogue property tax increment. In terms of cultural context. they suddenly viewed the sector of arts and culture as a 501(c)4 entity. which leadership and respect in the corporate community. for which I serve as president. Private the ensuing conversation. The Battelle Technology Partnership Practice is the it would take for us to approach the median of the nine same firm that was doing the bioscience road-mapping competitor regions. Seattle. which is an important element of the leadership. The convening of the task force itself. which was the we approached a firm specializing in economic develop. Next. had to do with (1) the amount of product per capita in and the other is through a sales tax increment. to generate that amount of money. The MCAC leadership has six board surprised to learn that arts and culture were being used members. and public sector What has happened since then can be described as funding. the task force work. but because Arizona was force joined the boards of these organizations. and certainly not as a partner or as an important piece of the competitive Ultimately two organizations were created as a result of positioning of the region. That mentality has changed. because our region was so far behind with respect to arts and culture. the mechanism Denver has per capita. would remain as strong as it was then. which positioning itself as a bioscience hub. or a tale of expectation and capita in contributed revenue. The business community had an epiphany Myra Millinger that unless they addressed the issue of under-capitaliza- tion very aggressively. arts and culture. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS Phoenix. the people who asked for handouts. The first was the creation of a task force in development entity that uses the cultural sector to 2003-2004 led by 30 business. At that point in time. Seattle had $60 per capita at that time. and we were at $12 per capita in investigation. That change occurred as a result of essentially This 501(c)3 organization is essentially an economic three things. and Charlotte. reality. which would never have passed. when it was quite Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. private sector. was the plan we decided on after extensive product per capita. corporate. We determined that there are only two methods growth. and (2) the amount of contributed revenue tax of one-tenth of a percent. and design various strategies. The firm calculated what ment. The firm is very well-respected and where in the range of 50 million new dollars per year its involvement brought legitimacy to the research and to in dedicated. MPAC. A sales the region. but we were not even for their understanding of politics and for their position of in the room. unrestricted public sector funding. Washington | February 2008 . In 2005. because it prompted the effort to Phoenix region was viewed as the class of the needy— move forward. Some of the leadership of the task front and center in their lives. the region would only slip further I’m going to try and condense four years of a very com- behind. work that Battelle completed. The second organization is public sector leaders. the expectation was that the economy tive. but prior to 2004 the arts and culture community in the that was fine with us. instead of retaining an arts consultant We began with a goal in the campaign. private philanthropy. Arizona This discovery stopped the conversation and led us to the next step. 51 expected. They also realized that we would have difficulty plex process. In looking around represented a positive shift in the emerging value of the country at competitor regions. initiated a crucial dialogue. Phoenix area. So the process was very self-serving. these leaders were the cultural sector. One is the Maricopa Partnership for and it has actually changed much more than we had Arts and Culture (MPAC). The next lowest to us was San Diego at $23 per a tale of two expectations. into a few key points that will hopefully could not attract the talent and industry to live in the generate some discussion. which only gets more complex as each day competing with Atlanta and Seattle in biosciences if we goes forward. compared to the 26 board members of the as a competitive positioning tool. They came together not because the Maricopa Campaign for Arts and Culture (MCAC). The most compelling aspects sector funding is essentially depleted. so public sector of the research stemmed from a comparison of Phoenix money is our only option as a funding source for arts and against nine competitor regions experiencing new culture. The met over nine months. to provide some perspec. The MCAC board members were hand-picked not only were we not at the table. including Austin.

it because it means jobs for them. option is to go to the ballot. In 2004 when the MCAC a challenge. In short. Somehow we vices. for a number of reasons. Consistent with the state constitution. When you propose a trans- lature is never inclined to act on behalf of the citizens of portation tax. as we originally intended. at least not in the short term. In 2005. with the exception of saving them tax money. We have a governor who is very supportive. I don’t think we will be able. Washington | February 2008 . PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS strong. with respect to the real estate market. We are in a very bad situation as a development will have to reposition and maintain the momentum we community so dependent upon real estate. will be elected next. that is where we very different attitude about fundraising than there was in are currently. we have moved from what was to be a county-only effort to a statewide effort. So there is a very interesting dynamic and we are a very young region. We have huge population churn that will was formed. it seemed like a 2008 goal would provide not change. By now the business community is hurting and other issues surpass this effort with regard to importance and relevance. arts and culture community. We must also revisit whether we can make this all happen in 2008. It In Arizona. we are now faced with the fact that our only will be an interesting case study to watch unfold. We now think we have found it. The third surprise was that in 2004 we planned a campaign in the county that would have cost about $2 million to be successful. We have a decline in the economy significant budget shortfalls. There is now a happen three years from now. The overarching issues will never change. That aspect a referendum from the legislature that would allow the of our region is not getting better. However. but the reality is we have run out of time to get the campaign going. so to try and create county board of supervisors to place a measure before a regional identity and brand for the arts community is voters in the 2008 election. the reality is that a referendum is measure for arts and culture. revenue sharing. the people who build roads would support the region. 2005. In 2008 we are experiencing a real estate crash. Now we are facing a statewide campaign that needs a minimum of $4 million to even get it off the ground. The county is also cutting back on ser. business support was strong for the effort. The Arizona legis. The other expectation was that we would have sufficient time to prepare for the initiative. some of which are business-funded. When we discovered that we would need to go statewide. to raise sufficient capital to proceed for 2008. The board have been building in order to go forward and make this members of the MCAC are now hurting. with the exception of the off the table. We have no natural constituency for our 52 plenty of time. We are now heading toward the final moments because we never expected the process to take so long. The second shock of reality was that we assumed We are a region that is terribly Balkanized—we tend to when we began this process that we would be pursuing be fragmented and we do not share well. in the next 48 hours. and a sudden end to state that will not improve much. but she will be leaving office and we are uncertain who Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. We are now faced with about 10 interesting policy dilemmas. we spent months trying to determine a legal mechanism to maintain some bi-county autonomy in the process. I was basically told to “get in line” for the 2008 year because there will be a number of very contentious ballot initiatives.

they viewed us as useful partners in accomplishing their strategic mission. There were also could implement something similar in the Seattle region. They wanted to create 100. that is. such as a local public law attorney about the SCFD. and to make the region a The greater Seattle area has experienced considerable great place to live. similar to the contributed a great deal of time to the effort.5 billion was place to live. It began with a nology. which has informed much of what is happening with the current effort. poor educa- leadership and frankly cover the cost of hiring the public tion. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS Puget Sound Region. Following a Chamber trip to the collaborative effort. needed to figure out how we can make this four-county region—King. The cultural life in a somewhat broad sense. logistics and international trade. We said we needed more money for arts 53 given to cultural facilities in the region. The Denver model was in our minds who has a strong understanding of the relevant issues for a long time and we have been thinking about how we and knows how the process works. These leaders immediately recognized that social capital and quality of life gave the Dwight Gee city an important. but for the arts. we needed to attract the right not own it. of Some visionary leaders from the PSRC asserted that we course. I am referring to the with contributions or fees from those governments. Snohomish. but the question was how we could ensure that it information. but we do Richard Florida argument. life sciences. and the first thing we did together back to our long-standing aspirations to implement what was assemble a very small group to develop a plan for we have seen in Denver.000 new My organization is ArtsFund. the lobbyists. the economic Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC). We consequently started broad- including aerospace. in terms of PSRC has examined regional planning efforts. and the faulty tax structure. This collaboration was Another facet of the region involves some strong and a dream for the arts community because instead of the effective regional planning by an organization called the arts people clamoring for more money. 1990s. and vice versa. as well activities for families and visitors to the city. How would we work toward that zation similar to United Way. Seattle is already SCFD. and Kitsap counties— We plundered as much information as possible from the more competitive on the world stage. we are merely trying to help move it forward. Then that were helping to move their businesses and indus- we realized that we needed to bind our stakeholders tries forward. This group consisted of some Denver a few years ago. which gives us an and culture. along with the obstacles in their way. among others. We first initi- as transportation planning and economic development ated this venture at the PSRC. and they emphasized broader access to amazing inventory and lifts the budgets of certain arts those things. strategic advantage for being eco- nomically viable. in spite of the traffic. and the other expenses nec- that were helping them move forward were the national essary to move ahead. a private united arts organi- jobs by the year 2010. so that they could provide obstacles they named were transportation. We were not moving The PSRC pulled together the top industry sectors forward in the process. Washington place. The idea for the cultural district relates countless meetings. arts individuals. about $1. some suggestions about how to make Seattle a better and the early part of this decade. ney called the Groundhog’s Day meetings. because we had the same meeting repeatedly. They asked leaders from these sectors to identify ways public figures. and science people. Pierce. information tech- ening the base of the people involved. and its staff was very helpful in providing us with noted. clean technology. cultural task force comprised of some elected officials. For about Those of us who were thinking about the SCFD had a 12-year period particularly in the late 1980s. growth in the past 15 years. Factors relations firm. economic development advocates from the PSRC. This organization development people were asserting that we needed is a four-county group of local governments that works to develop a stronger cultural life. They have since been directing environment and the reality that Seattle was a very livable Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. ArtsFund is objective? They decided that the Seattle region needed deeply involved in the effort as a fiscal agent. Washington | February 2008 . kind of businesses and talent. where I have attended in the region. and some people from the arts community. The more strongly to the effort. We then entered a period of what the attor- will continue to prosper economically. people came back with tales very brilliant people. That is how this collaboration came about— and culture organizations. I have also a platform for a strong cultural life.

The region should be appealing the initiative. in because it is where people want to live. which is possible. I think it’s going to be very hard to lose One of the important issues we considered was how we that momentum provided there is a focal point to develop would interface with the proposed lodging tax. tal. assuming that the state it. We region. the funding generated from the aspects of the Phoenix initiative. so the lodging tax could be passed and it would not get confused with the sales tax effort. go to committed to this effort and are very willing to support it. Since firmly on two feet. The initiative is intended to be statewide. which is unlike anything I have seen in my experience. are profoundly likely to give us the authority to create the district. very instrumental. as we go out into less likely to happen. The state is more aspects. In many places. can you talk more about how much money you good. the voters. That figure would Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. We also were not Dwight Gee ready since we had not adequately developed the base of support. So I think keeping those sides in some kind of balance is important. which I think is Dwight. We are not just a political effort in the community to enlist community leaders to encourage one entity. I think we vital for county funding of the arts in Seattle and an effort could slip back very quickly if the Maricopa Partnership to secure it for the long term has been about three years for Arts and Culture went away because there would be in the making. zations are now carrying the weight. which would make that region would be about $40 million. in order to attract people to a region that 60% of the people polled in the four-county area said you must cultivate an environment that is advantageous they would vote yes on a sales tax increment to support and exciting for people. Anthony Radich David Thornburgh Both the Seattle and Phoenix efforts have been con- nected to larger development processes. and ask for the increment. but we have a lot of work to do before then. the drivers of those processes leave the picture. We are now building the base of support. These groups are addressing the We are currently promoting our ideas to elected officials same issue we have been discussing about the Seattle and community leaders to see how they respond. I think that for some people. commerce. but what contingency plans are in place for when could conceivably raise through your working concept. which is not very likely. with respect to an understanding that regardless have done some polling. I think the political and 2009. ArtsFund is invested in passing that as no unifying force across sectors and across the creative well. So the cultural organi. scientific. and were encouraged to find of the industry. but the people whose first interest is in give one-tenth of a percent to the arts without going to having a great community irrespective of the economic a public vote. Currently. we seeing the cultural sector viewed as a partner and as 54 are focusing on outreach and building levels of support. That tax is a product that is of value to other sectors. but more importantly. it could simply decide to nent is important. The economic development compo- the state owns the sales tax. the Florida mentality has Our plan is to approach the legislature for approval in already lost some of its luster. we are the state to form their own taxing districts. the state capi- community to promote that case. to a range of people from the economic development. We are moving even further. so I will discuss some one-tenth of a percent sales tax in the four-county of the positive shifts I am seeing. I emphasized the negative Based on 2005 data. We are strongly connected to the 501(c)3 and support among elected officials. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS the effort. when as well as the particulars of distribution and perhaps Richard Florida is forgotten and biotech sciences are what the funding will go toward? Also what is the strate- a thing of the past? How can you make sure that your gic face of this effort as it emerges from the distribution initiatives don’t fall off the wagon when that happens? process? Myra Millinger Dwight Gee That’s a very good question. the initiative we have is standing does not give us a tax credit. There economic development leaders are strongly invested in would be a subsequent election. and technology communi- ties on many levels. through cultural organizations. tourism. and not merely that it would provide the authority for populous areas of where their job happens to be. Washington | February 2008 . We decided to stay out of Olympia.

prompting them to vote against the initia- effective strategy if we can simply raise enough money tive. Is your involvement in a united arts fund viable and relevant in your experi- ence with this initiative? Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. at least at this point. about two issues: kids and education. the state arts agency involved? Why or why not? Myra Millinger Dwight Gee From our perspective. The key is expanding access to those benefits. the county board of supervisors Dwight. We did not the majority of Arizona state voters. We would lose the supported it. we came up with a strategy for legisla- access. which can have enormous will be the model used for this cultural district. In turn. I personally nization has across the community. yet the initiative is meant to be statewide. Even for people who say they do not attend arts events and facilities. We were able to learn quite a bit from would not feel like they were being taxed for the Phoenix the public opinion polls. We understand quite a bit about distribution is not an outcome. We thought this effort? In Kansas City we have a new united arts it would be very awkward for them not to enact it if 60% fund that formed last year and there is a sense that it will of the county residents supported it and were willing to create a model for public funding for the arts. which has helped to pull different areas money to arts organizations because they need it. but the legislation polls. but it would only be mention Denver’s model but the original tier structure in enacted in those counties where the majority of voters Denver would never sell in this region. What would these funds be going I think the main benefit of the 19 years of experience I toward? I think the primary focus would be on increasing have had with ArtsFund is the connections that the orga- access to the arts and cultural organizations. We still have an issue for which. they Myra Millinger want them available for their children and they want to Because we were forced to look at something on a see them in their communities. But we are working toward an Art Museum. most likely be taxed for this purpose. to benefit from these organizations. would be presented once to the voters. That strategy involves reaching This allowed us to maintain some measure of autonomy people and families. As a result. we are considering having each Ricardo Frazer potential beneficiary present plans on how they will expand access through outreach or free or discounted Dwight. people want statewide basis. how has your experience with ArtsFund helped would still have to support it by majority vote. ArtsFund is known don’t subscribe to the notion that we must give more and respected. but the good news state—populous because very rural regions will not have is that we had a much more positive response than we the tax base so it does not make much sense—to estab- expected from voters. they don’t want to have to drive an hour away tion that we are going forward with. one as recent as late December. Can financial stability these arts and cultural organizations you clarify that. Secondly. In addition to better access. Washington | February 2008 . through the distribution mechanism. We also found that As it is now written this effort would have to pass by people are very adverse to the funding. The outcome is what those organiza- but we are not anticipating that our distribution system tions do for the community. is 55 will provide a higher quality of service. and if it is in fact a statewide initiative. effects. This region is very we are planning would enable populous regions in the conservative and averse to taxing. That together. The sales tax revenue generated would also election if a significant portion of the money went to only be retained in the county. though the response was mostly lish a similar district. Tucson residents a few institutions. presumably with more group. you mentioned that the PSRC is a four-county days. to put before the voters. and promoting the arts so that they within each county and yet have a statewide vote that believe it adds value to their lives. even if it was enacted in Maricopa Larry Meeker County for example. we have a very strong feeling of local control. In our working concept. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS now increase to about $60 million because the region is Dwight Gee growing considerably. we have done two public opinion The PSRC covers four counties.

The former tends to take a top-down approach state agency on a number of occasions. They should consider how the tax district will have vibrant tax districts with stronger and healthier non. I think that is an argument that must Arts Commission does is of critical importance and be carefully crafted because we understand the risk to I have worked for many years trying to help boost the the state arts commission that comes with a tax district. That has been a guiding principle municipalities to remain vital in 10 years. After 10 years. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS Dwight Gee Larry Meeker For our proposal. Suppose these three can decide. money. communities where these are implemented? How might that be envisioned? Dwight Gee Myra Millinger With respect to a 10-year prediction for the Seattle region. and the Arts Council of State Arts Commission has been involved in this pro. a Missouri-side arts council response to the question about whether the Washington that is closer to downtown. I want to explain that the SCFD alone did not cause the state council to implode. the pass it. In Metropolitan Arts Council. tives to develop a small policy paper on the relationship in that they strengthen cultural communities. we have met with Kris and representatives of the Kansas. after our task force results do the work it should be doing. but it would be left up to the individual areas. that is. if we agencies. Because 56 local governments do not have to promote it—the voters I’d like to ask a related question. The incentive for everyone. I will ask Kris to provide her perspective on of a bi-state funding proposal. I think we have with respect to policy issues while the latter takes a kept the agency fully updated on the ongoing process. but at the cost of the thriving Also. a condition of the legislation we are developing I think we are very aware of the dynamic that must is no displacement of existing support for the arts due develop for the state and local arts commissions of the to the tax mechanism. I think that in 10 years. we have mentioned the impact of the SCFD on and capital base of the local and state arts entities. The work the Washington State non-profit sector. But it is a between cultural tax districts and local and state arts tough argument to make. Johnson County. When the SCFD was first proposed. but we need to maintain that trying to achieve with a pure infusion of capital into the fundamental principle. is that sufficient? We have seen arts agencies are not crossing over into what we are instances when it was not. the entire legislature would have to There are two strong arts councils in Kansas City. bottom-up approach. how might we con- that everyone will be stronger because people are advo- ceptualize the relationship between these successful tax cating for arts policy and trying to create an arts vision districts and the state and local arts commissions in the within a regional economy. we don’t have anywhere near enough This is something that has been front and center in our funding for the Washington State Arts Commission to minds from the beginning. Arts. They must be from the beginning. a major suburban arts council in cess. we are simply going to fall back to where we used to be rather than make progress. the director of the Colorado Council at that Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. is that a bi-state Kris Tucker tax is more viable politically than local funding. Someone made the observation that funded at a higher level than what they currently receive. if we simply and we need to make a case for why the state and local write it in the legislation. were shared with the community. We are trying to com- municate to people that if funding for local and state arts Anthony Radich agencies is cut. imposing that condition is difficult. then different entities such as the Colorado Council on the we have failed. However. that. unfold and what it will look like in five or 10 years. We have to I want to encourage everyone working on these initia- demonstrate how the roles of those agencies are critical. The argument for a bottom-up approach is efforts are successful. Washington | February 2008 . This lays the groundwork for a and Kris has helped us make sure the effort remained clash between the two organizations over development statewide. however. profit arts organizations.

I am relaying this information because I did not want anyone here to leave with the impression that the SCFD killed the Colorado Council. Keeping in mind that our district was framed around stabilizing arts organizations. Anthony characterized it perfectly to my knowledge. it was a two-way street and the state arts agency chose not to engage. We don’t want to reinforce this perpetrator-victim mentality of regional districts. Then it became easy to char- acterize what happened in a perpetrator-victim context. But in re-framing this for the future. Margaret Hunt As an agency that now has a 10-year history. Although it happened before my time and during the campaign. but some of the other organizations are doing better. so that was not a good start to the process. notion of focusing on access rather than stabilization. I which led to some real detrimental effects. so they opted to stay under the radar. obviously stabilization was the crisis that led to the tax district. they were fearful that the arts community would be perceived as greedy by the legislature. with the regional district excluding the council to some degree. Now the agency has rebounded and there is some hope of collaboration among the SCFD and the Council. What later greatly diminished the Council was another director who. From what I understand of those dialogues. The state arts council did not want to be involved. years later. I like the Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. wherein the state arts councils are the victims. it is a yes and no answer. Looking back. She was think we have an opportunity to re-craft that message as an outsider in the organizational effort and perhaps at we go forward. I wanted to flip that question. Washington | February 2008 . and also respond to Philip Horn’s earlier question about whether the cultural tax district accomplished what it was intended to do. times an antagonistic outsider. The symphony and the ballet are still in trouble. which is arts organizations going directly to the legislature for line item operating support. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS time did not seek to actively engage in that process. Another interesting thing is a trend we have been seeing in the last couple of years. 57 Jane Hansberry I absolutely agree—it is a two-way relationship. That approach was complicated by the already poor positioning of the Council. adopted a confrontational approach with the governor’s office and the legislature. The result was catastrophic. But Anthony’s right.

PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS 58 Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. Washington | February 2008 .

We need to pay attention to the public benefit side of The fourth bottom line has to do with cultural vitality and this issue. funding for the arts is arguments and use them to appeal to voters and policy always going to be challenged. when we think about the Florida argument. First. as we move into a knowledge-based economy. In that regard. innova- healthcare. So. public policy concern. one we have not discussed. It will be important to use that language and move it away Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. we can look at reasons why this kind of work with something that we know motivates the cultural policy planning is so lacking in this country. Creativity also relates back to that first bottom the public. arts education is one means of supporting policy-makers. A further matter involves The third bottom line. There are implications governance in this country and others. lege. regional- about a variety of ways to fund activities rather than ism is not a new idea. as we have discussed creativity. I wanted to pick up on where these funding mechanisms exist to maintain privi- the theme of public benefits and this notion of “Pay more. which enhances has it entirely figured out. which in and of itself. Someone mentioned earlier that although some today. it is not adequate to only contracting can facilitate that process. This requires us to use caution in privileging or favoring a purely economics argument. regarding results related to the equity and access issue as we consider and outcomes. Joaquín Herranz I think this applies when we consider crafting any kind of district—to be mindful of the experiences of other places Rather than provide a summary. there may be debates around the economic impacts of they might be interested in it for their children and grand- the arts because that is critical for a lot of voters and children. The first bottom line has to ture. I think that is an underdeveloped public support. talk about public money or non-profits. creating mechanisms that support arts and culture in other places. resources. some of differences these regional districts make—a challenge in which was referenced in the readings and mentioned by almost every public policy sector—performance-based 59 participants here. one way of thinking about public policy is to recognize that there is public benefit in arts and cul- in terms of four bottom lines. There is benefit in enabling people to be involved in do with finances and economics. so unless we can make a compelling arguments and it will be advantageous to sharpen those argument on why it’s connected. in this I wanted to explore that question of “What for?” and region we have smart growth and urban growth bound- offer one way of thinking about it. On the one hand. Too many urgent issues such as housing. no one as performance-based contracting. How do we connect benefits. “What for?” This is a major issue around cerns environmental sustainability. we must consider the commercial side as well. con- the question of. and the work force demand tion and creativity is crucial. transportation. and To that end. While it is difficult to assess the long-term multi-central nature of thinking about services. however. but because therein creativity. The issues we are discussing at institutions. For example. It has to make sense economically for creativity. That is. given the level of competition for scarce line. not because of voters. and people may not be invested in that idea for themselves. ment for why there should be public support for the arts. Another issue is the accountability. and the about ways of reducing transportation by giving people notion that the market takes care of matters that need choices and access. People need to hear a compelling argu- concept we should explore. We are familiar with those public resources. should be a compelling lies the motivation. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS Closing Session The second bottom line relates to social concerns. in terms of public aries and centers being developed. I think there is a lot more work to be done. and about ways to build in incentives such this seminar are widespread around the country. So how do we think about methods to operational- what for?” I was invited here because of my background ize the formation of cultural tax districts in ways that sup- in public policy and I wanted to position some of this port the social benefits of access? People have talked conversation in the public policy arena. makers to examine the issues that resonate with them. not just here in Seattle. as we have been discussing with regard to access and equity. Washington | February 2008 . many people in this part of the country? So we can think One reason pertains to the market orientation.

I would like to make two points about the creative econ- omy. There are multiple bottom lines. in that the role of the state is recognized and acknowl- edged. The the window down the street on Marginal Way and see more we build connections the greater opportunity there places where workers are building cardboard boxes and is to inform cultural policy and planning. that where the bulk of the funding goes? I don’t think because that timeframe allows us to avoid the limitations so. but in 50 years using caution and thinking about your whole population or 100 years. education is so critical. Washington | February 2008 . Actually that person is envision what we want to see happen in a region. I Michael Rushton bet the distribution structures and the tiers of the cultural districts would look quite different. However. The second point also relates to the creative economy makers. The employees who worked and what we value in the way of culture in this country. Now just as it was done at the turn of the century. for arts and culture. As I not considered to be a member of the creative class in think about those who have started these districts based the true sense. it’s a potential strategy but I think anyone Joaquín Herranz going into it has to remember that all the participants at I agree. it of preservation. perhaps investing in the arts and culture because we are trying to Seattle has an opportunity to tie funding in with cultural build a creative economy. they are in the job starting a district that is not based on need. they influence the choices you make. If horizon. and advancing those ideas so that we connect them to what motivates voters and decision. and to a point I made earlier. in terms of fostering a culture of innova- upon need. Of course there are some sectors generated by these districts once the initial need is met. thinking about what we are actually trying to in our thinking that are imposed by a five or 10 year accomplish influences how we think about funding. I think that people are telling them that they ought to pay more taxes is the opportunity we are faced with here at this seminar. If we want to spur innovation and creativity. by that prospect. The majority of the population. the creative core we would include someone who is a it is quite another to engage in cultural planning and violinist at the Seattle Symphony. Again. many of the I strongly concur. which will hasten that process and with all of these thinkers and doers—imagining not just strengthen the creative economy. many people feel threatened planning. So this touches on some very deep ideological I live in a town where GE recently announced that it is issues. and questions about American exceptionalism closing a refrigerator plant. as we think about a taxing district and the not see those possibilities. the result becomes no different than cally from the 18th or 19th centuries. So I would advise what the returns are in five or 10 years. Therefore. I think that mentality relates to how we interpret this seminar are part of what new geographers would the creative economy argument. there for 15 or 20 years putting on refrigerator doors But I think we should raise our sights to the opportunities are not going to work in the creative economy—they do 60 presented. I think it’s one thing to advance the idea large arts organizations that we heavily fund are not in of cultural tax districts because there is a need for them that business. you really want to pursue the creative economy ideal. four bottom lines. So one of our main focuses can be those because you will likely encounter some fear about that. In much of Europe. First of all. as are many of the large arts organiza- seems reasonable to develop a vision for the dividends tions we tend to fund. because it is not just about however. I find it interesting that when we look at and because something needs to be fixed. is not part of the creative class. I would suggest using cau- tion when approaching particularly those who hold blue- In the way that Portland was perceived for a long time as collar jobs. changing and they feel they are being left behind. this is taken for granted. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS from the focus of arts organizations needing money. I think that is why arts call the creative class. but when you think about the goals you want to Larry Meeker ultimately pursue. doing similar kinds of jobs. when you tell this audience that it is worth a national example of actually managing growth. of the arts that are innovative and cutting edge. but is I prefer to imagine things 50 to 100 years down the road. All they see is the economy prospects for creating a new institutional infrastructure. I can look out Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. Violinists perform works composed by others typi- need is addressed. as those programs continue on after the tion.

My daughter. state effort in a lower income neighborhood. for example. a resident of a lower income neighborhood. partners. So we need to be careful because when we reinforce the old frameworks. Larry. politics recently. The question was simple: “Why should I support the tax when I can’t Jane Hansberry even afford to go to ball games?” I responded by saying This is a wonderful dialogue to hear. and a more vital of 50-100 years. Washington | February 2008 . I Dale Erquiaga think the long view will be extremely helpful for every- one who is contemplating campaigns because there I am thinking of two things as I listen to this discussion. to demographics. these efforts. This concept is also sweeping through Larry Meeker government services. how do we engage those partners and draw help children develop their creativity and appreciation them in? There is likely a way to bridge that connection for music? Perhaps contingent funding and contracting but we have yet to achieve it. so I think tives are going to attract a lot of businesses and increase there is a way to craft that message. but we can certainly stress how these initia- their grandchildren. we should talk about versus the big picture. Frank. with due respect to all the political opinions in the room. When you consider the ripple effects of in that we are losing ground as regions and as states. and so on. My are some great ways of portraying how these young. Do we have the means to determine how 61 in a way that does not simply assume it is provided to those people making cardboard boxes are authentically the symphony. and the job base. and being more inclusive of diverse tions have been set up. We discussed how much minutiae. Should we categorically creative thinkers. A great deal of research shows that assume that because someone is making boxes down everything is being automated. are possibilities. and they this new economy. It is important to consider how we shape these who might be losing jobs in the current economy will answers. supports Barack Obama Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. We want to be competitive. you will see many jobs emerge for a variety Our kids are losing ground. particularly as we that sports and arts institutions can ultimately bring more prepare to go to a vote and consider how to position businesses and more competition to the labor market. and I think violin player to engage in arts education. higher wages. because of what we have decimated in our schools. the issues. young people must learn how to be brought a few thoughts to mind. we can perhaps think in terms of building our can we encourage potential recipients to. from a policy perspective. ees. but rather asks for evidence that potential touched and impacted by the broader definitions of cul- recipients are responding to all four bottom lines? How ture? Or. We can think it also relates to the sustainability question with regard of ways to circumvent the constraints of how the institu. beyond what has When we think about funding mechanisms. I would not always emphasize the creative want to create better opportunities for their children and economy. the local grocery stores will need more employ- facing a huge crisis. They cannot think creatively of people—this is what fuels economies. and we had an interesting conversation about creative future. In order to succeed in Michael. your comments are very well taken. so all of those skills—and on Marginal Way that they are not touched by culture in you’ve heard these arguments before—that enable young that broader definition? The success of many of these people to adapt and be successful in this new economy efforts has depended on a much broader vision and are similar to creativity. For each creative business that comes into I were talking earlier about how they are not currently a region. nothing changes I was asked an interesting question during the last bi- and we miss the opportunity to envision an entirely differ. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS supporting people who are already on a path to being Michael Killoren members of the creative class. I would wager that even those people economy. How can we think about funding communities. understanding of arts and culture. Joaquín recommended taking a long view which means more jobs. Those broader defini- consider the possibilities for creating incentives for the tions are what I find interesting at a local level. It came from ent way of funding a new kind of cultural plan. Yet we all know that we actually are. we can been a fairly traditional definition. daughter is an artist and attends a performing arts high maturing institutions can propel us toward a much more school.

PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS rather than Senator Clinton. I think learning to use I also believe that the people instrumental in forming language and express ideas in a certain way is important these large efforts are important. particularly in the Southwest. When I asked her why. because they American Red Cross supports the common good. they were the wealthiest and most suc- money to a given agency such as the Salvation Army or cessful developers and bankers in Arizona. not count if I have the funniest-sounding last name in the I am a political hack and have worked on campaigns room. what is the diversity like? People and high school graduation are good for society as a of color or Latinos frequently are not wealthy bankers whole. This is the same case we people who initiated the effort. In Phoenix. we need zoos. We are designing a tax district for which my voice does Anthony mentioned that this is a process of deal-making. This is a concern with regard to the design of these since I was 15 years old. and aquariums rather than Jose. so they are not in the room. those people were not only from the looking for language around which to say that providing arts community. That is something we should think is Jose? It seems we are designing a program for Joe about. Washington | February 2008 . The same con. in stability is very different from taking advantage of a versation is taking place in the human services field. candidate’s platform for health care reform. versation is happening within the field of education. Educators are looking for language to draw people into One of my concerns is. language is crucial to stems from the likelihood that in 10 or 15 years the arts what we are trying to achieve. which continue to receive less wants to change everything. and I can tell you that the same con. room and at the table. What do Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. My reluctance about these funding mechanisms opposed to things fixed. They are stating that test scores are not nearly and developers. We are all color. unless we can use and does not want to be bothered with the details of a compelling language to convince people otherwise. about in terms of who is at the table. you’re going to form alliances with some people What happens in 10 years when. as Dwight and Myra discussed. For me. and zoos and aquariums are still more popular always trying to fix everything. One of the things we have not discussed much long-term. 62 I am also a consultant in the fields of education and are very distinct from each other. and represent the sectors that drive our economy. parks. position away from distribution of funds to individual and means different people are involved in devising the agencies and toward a model of outcomes. I think that is something we must think included in these initiatives if we want to get them passed. My daughter is an artist will still be considered a low priority.” I found that interesting—her funding? That is my question to which I do not have an shift of perspective in wanting to see things change as answer. what happens in 10 is that if you are engaging in deal-making or back-room years when the biotech industry is no longer exciting? politics. primarily Latinos. The arts the common good by way of helping the less fortunate community was essentially riding the coattails of those ultimately benefits everyone. As Anthony pointed out. Campaigns are about building mechanisms—who we have inadvertently excluded—and a coalition and determining how to accomplish political yet we are designing mechanisms to be in place for the goals. population and 50% of my state’s student population. A whole as important as graduation rates and acquired language new mechanism is being designed through these tax skills. Responding to a crisis human services. Consider how the for us. history of the cultural tax districts and the rationale for forming the districts. who comprise 25% of my state’s looking for the same allies. That represents a significant shift. the most commonly given baby name in Arizona ated 10 years later. This shift calls for a differ- are trying to build. state. and [Senator Obama] just than the arts institutions. yet others are also grappling with it ent tone to the whole conversation about who is in the from the human services perspective. So we are not the initiatives that will potentially under-serve people of only sector seeking this type of language. she we do in 10 years when the allocation of funds remains said that Senator Clinton “has all those details and she’s the same. and it already is in my in the present with whom you will not want to be associ. She wants to hear more eloquent language. as a person with a different- their sphere so they can say that language acquisition sounding last name. They are efforts. we need a much broader definition of culture. The community conversation about regional competitiveness United Way of America organization is trying to shift its on an economic level. To that end.

So we will fund opera by assembling bankers and developers because in prac- and Shakespeare. regardless of what particular public white men in a room is different than a grassroots organi. it reminded me of the Atlanta situation. in a way. because again the mentality of equating arts with great The players are going up and down the court trying to big institutions biases one’s whole approach toward figure out who is good and how they ought to play and cultural policy. ing back to me is the pick-up game. and The good news in all of this is that despite the confusion there was no consideration given to innovation. Our children ness leaders. To pretend tions needed and then make a plan to raise that amount that somehow you could clean it all up by applying the of money. group has a particular idea of what they perceive to be the arts. But I think it is difficult to certain types of people. a senior process is inherently messy and is. they certain programs. like ourselves. and who sets the tone In doing this work with regions around the country for of the conversation? When someone like my daughter is the last few years. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS I also have questions about citizen advocacy versus busi. which provides more oppor- spearheading the effort. It’s encouraging to hear these efforts percolating agencies get pushed aside when an effort is initiated by instead of being suppressed. you will end up with an environment in ative economy. Some people found in Atlanta. and their idea tends to be great big buildings I think the answer really lies in this pick-up game mental- that typically have donors’ names on them and so on. raised. lines we have talked about get pushed aside if you start because it will create problems. did not have to tunity for powerful. in which must form alliances. so on. they will simply wait until the next governor comes into office. The problem I ness people—running the show are over. Because generally that do instead. together from different sectors. I actually think the days ing. includes them in the room. are actually experiencing a great deal of anxiety about was that it forced a bypassing of the issue regarding that prospect because they are uncertain about what to the underlying public purpose. chaos theory in action. Washington | February 2008 . It comes back to the coaching and the level of trust developed among the members of the team. they have a rather skewed idea of arts policy. message change? You begin to realize that in order to be successful you ultimately need to have a leadership core made up of a Michael Rushton broader base than has been typical in the past. The people which everyone is in charge. community vice president for a bank would insist during every meet. no one really knows what position anyone is playing. prior to hierarchy of the past is simply nonsense—it’s not going any discussion. In Atlanta many of the people oversee them. which leads me finally to my last ques. which Kris raised as well. The different bottom as a nation that the NEA should not set cultural policy. Several programs and zation. one of the analogies that keeps com- part of the future audience—someone who is not inter. The meetings initially did not include any talk about cultural policy whatsoever. So ity. The worry about arts education for their children. and I think you are finding this in Phoenix. in terms of how to ested in the NEA or the state arts council—how does the approach the challenges and opportunities presented. drawn The way your discussion progressed was quite interest. which was of the bankers—the largely white male bankers and busi- guided by the bankers and big developers. of the process. who will get fact that the ideas can derive from anywhere is actually Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. The question of who is in charge is ing that we needed to determine how much the institu. that the goal was to provide guaranteed to happen. or arts education of any kind. but everyone and no one is in charge. David Thornburgh 63 But who is ultimately in charge. funding to the big institutions. leading the effort had children who were attending tion: Who’s in charge? Who sets cultural policy? We private schools. and if they are fortunate the governor tend to have tunnel vision. such as the aquarium and the zoo. The At the meetings I had with the Atlanta group. So it was essentially predetermined. A group of rich are going to do fine. so the whole idea of arts education in keep reverting back to that issue and we have decided public schools was fairly pointless. the cre. If they are not included. Think about how to get a successful outcome for the it is no surprise that you raise the issue of with whom you community in terms of using a pick-up team. programs are available in Phoenix. well-developed ideas to emerge. and many state arts councils will fund tice. plenty of social capital from their parents.

It into this process in contrast to getting daily orders from seems that as these cultural tax districts evolve.to two-year increments. What kind of leadership would 64 always been key. a fairly short window of opportunity. we fit in. as have four-year plans. but you will end up with a better plus in that we would have opportunities to improve what result. Washington | February 2008 . But in terms of school. There is likely more field testing that goes history plus or minus. potential cultural tax districts. Looking back. It is quite easy to related necessities. If we could somehow respond to lose your way when policy decisions are made within that that question. I certainly think it’s interesting to consider toward improving our communities to make them more the combination of leadership. and other true at both the local and state levels. much of our business has been Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. along with a few interventions. to double the amount of work and the amount of focus One of his lines in the many meetings was. Beginning in the 1990s we saw a new I also agree with Joaquín. the history of the state arts commission is pretty much history plus or minus. looking forward 50 policy response? Do we simply continue trying to attract to 100 years. This sense of a new order can be considered we were doing with more resources. we would be better able to find our niche. it would ence. it was surprising that no one phenomenon in which people began to choose a place could name a community that has achieved good com- to live before they looked for a job—something many munity cultural planning. This is attain the status of parks. and metropolitan that arena. you have to examine cultural policy from a mapping perspective. Mark Schuster visited Washington State must be remade going forward. and attractive places to live? Quite frankly. but we have not made much progress yet. and we have structures in place that be optimal? How could we develop an environment in focus on attracting businesses because that’s where which that leadership would be successful? the money is. it will be messy. schools. The policy bodies will never address the policies beyond that point. we are dealing with a computer. so anything you have done to make headway A few years ago. With regard to the regions about this shift? If we begin that conversation. difficulties involved. they give upstairs or from headquarters and determining how you us an opportunity to be more deliberate. Should we take a districts could be connected? While I’m uncertain if it different approach and direct a portion of those dollars is possible. But as we have talked about the Your comments bring to mind an idea I’ve tried to promote different initiatives and whether or not they have been in Kansas City. The bodies change as time Kris Tucker passes.” I think that is actually the nature of state arts agencies. Or it could be an positive for that reason. opportunity for us to engage in a different kind of leader- ship. able businesses in a community in the 21st century are Keith Colbo the ones that do not need a big plant and significant amounts of equipment. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS an advantage. the highly profit. aquariums. All they need is an office space. county commissions. and a light bulb and they are up and running. however. cultural planning. leadership has made a significant differ- Before we can answer the arts policy question. I think the question becomes: What’s the public broader community cultural planning. we are unaware of a community that has businesses or are there other alternatives? successfully done that. we must remember that regardless it seems that we could then determine where the arts of how well-developed an arts or cultural policy is. I am thinking about what type of leadership might be very interesting to address the public policy question emerge if we were to create the perfect environment for of economics. It could be a big will complete them. Strategic planning has been of us would have never considered when we finished accomplished. short timeframe. “It sounds like you maintain to make any kind of progress. We might find our niche because the arts could always deal with it in one. I certainly agree with David that no matter what we Larry Meeker do. If we fail to move What is our policy response to that? What do we say quickly and decisively as an arts or cultural community in to city councils. the window will close on us. successful. Consequently. economic development has good cultural planning. Is there a way to that these two We clearly devote a great deal of public resources to conversations about long-term cultural planning and tax attracting and retaining businesses. I would tend to agree.

We need to make an effort to be more proactively selective in establishing leadership. We cannot necessarily recruit just anyone to our cause and expect a positive outcome. healthier community consider- ing viable options. I agree with Keith that decision-mak- ing and planning often focus on the short-term outcome. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS Anthony Radich I would like to respond to several things. I also believe leadership is crucial. but again we have a smarter. and regionalism. we will never initiate a deeper conversation about the structure of the future. networking.or two-year basis. The cultural community might need a funding mechanism but if the cultural policy development is very healthy— through planning. In some years it might be a real-estate-centered solution and in other years it may be a large networking event. But what excites me about cultural planning is that even if decisions are made on a one. one is Dale’s comment about how the arts community should respond when it is led by developers and bankers. With regard to Joaquín’s vision for the extended future. It may not happen according to plan. if we have a good. Washington | February 2008 . Cultural leaders need to understand eco- nomics. funding flows. cul- tural community rather than a funding mechanism. I think building the capacity of the arts 65 community is extremely important. I think it’s very important for us to think about developing a vibrant. and cooperation—it will endure and find solutions. and avoid having leaders by default merely because they control money. ongoing planning process. government funding mechanisms. Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. the solution may have nothing to do with money. I think we need to be increasingly careful about how we select leaders. In terms of planning. otherwise. those making decisions will have a much heartier array of possibilities in their minds.

if you cannot get a dime of the funding. which Larry their budgets. and or are doing the right thing for the community. what do voters think Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. While that go directly into the county treasury. the smaller organizations that may be more effective in serving our citizens. Washington | February 2008 . and relates to what between the major institutions and the smaller organiza- we are doing for our citizens and visitors. Ohio. I think they respect for their county boards of supervisors. the Tucson elicit support from people who prefer for the funds not to Pima Arts Council. dollars. Keeping that tions. are at a disadvantage. Myra explained that if governmental agency. I certainly wish my director multiple layers to consider. To that end. a county-wide arts council. and contribu- we could transform our communities. We have is doing more than simply plugging a deficit with regard to to examine whether a policy will create a hole in state stabilization. The reality is that tions on any level. pated in this seminar because I think we have elevated our field of learning much higher than it was when we Another important question concerns timing. First. organizations. The second than merely covering the million dollar deficit that they idea involves coalition building. There are growth in the field of learning. who are your partners and who can A few things I have heard discussed include the respect 66 you live with down the road? Who will be instrumental for major institutions we all have. Philip talked about helping them balance Finally. Another thing I heard discussed something represents good public policy. what would be the In response to the question about the lack of trust in shape of that organization after it lost 35% of its annual county boards of commissioners. in order to equalize the playing field true success goes beyond dollars. with respect to how these colleagues from around the country could have partici- funds will be managed once the initiatives are passed. and enhancing the practices of professional government or in the services provided to our citizens. right time for these cultural tax districts to be introduced? Also. That city has dedi- forward with prudent amounts of public resources? cated funding for the arts. as Jane discussed. or the infu- they do not believe the people in charge are thoughtful sion of mindful practice into the work we are doing. When is the began this conversation. Can we help them do new work? Can we raised. How much is enough. The large institutions tend to have considerable notion in the forefront of our minds as we go back to our financial resources through their board members. what can they truly offer? which relate to my concern about determining an appro- priate amount of public funding. Michael Rushton and when is enough too much? What if the amount of public funding were to decrease. but with an awareness in the process of earmarking and identifying potential of the changing factors and the ways people are using sources of funding? I must always ask myself whether these major institutions. It seem to accumulate every year after year? Imagine is important for us to bring together a broad range of achieving success in helping our field. such as the managing the district will go to the county boards of performance assessment and the auditing. The non-profit also handles the the initiative is passed in Arizona. one thing to consider funding? How can we protect organizations as we move is the example of Columbus. and consider how individuals to use their knowledge. two other ideas resonated with me. best policy. We may can be divided into three categories: motivation. or how find that people might vote against an initiative because to achieve the desired outcomes. the responsibility for other responsibilities for the tax mechanism. So there are supervisors that will either manage the process or pass ways to manage a tax district independently if it helps the task on to another entity—for example. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS Robert Booker about those individuals managing the district? Do they respect their county board of supervisors? We are in Dale asked me to pull together some thoughts on the the process of learning whether Arizona residents have main aspects of the issues we’ve addressed. but the funds are distributed Another question that was raised concerns an issue that by an independent non-profit organization rather than a has been discussed in Arizona. council could easily handle the job. as Dale said. while communities is very important. Michael began this discussion some very important con- how can we best use everyone around the table and cepts about why regions and public funding are valuable. how help them provide more programming for young people? would you suggest it be spent? I think that is a wonder- Can that be part of what we consider stabilization rather ful concept to advance this conversation.

of that type of situation. in terms of these broader economic development issues. How can we harness that power? I think it goes I wanted Jane to tell the story of how a non-profit beyond marketing. or other options that exist? Politicians know that if they invest x amount in education Some of those options are admittedly untested which or hospitals. arts leaders have the potential to be trusted community leaders more than Kansas City did something similar with Union Station and many others with known agendas. for example. they get y amount in return. rank against generally don’t have the people in the room who know dollars spent on the arts. organizations. One of the things we encounter in Pennsylvania is a curious custom called the legislative initiative grants. I think it is essential to have. as did the hear about studies regarding the economic impact of the one in St. Even though the reality of the political process involves only two years. This story is an illustration terms of trust. I am interested as to whether we are mental movement? Taking care of the environment has unusual in that practice. But have we talked about the $100 mil. The key for politi. and if some people will be told I think the arts community has a natural advantage in that they cannot join the club. we how dollars spent in education.” which is I have an observation about leadership and how to get essentially a pool of money that particular legislators get things going. Then we may learn that officials. We often The SCFD mechanism in Denver worked. For example. If Joe has a new vacuum sage and keeps it consistent across administrations. so it’s beneficial for the David Thornburgh arts community to know where it stands in the line-up. Keith raised the issue of two-year Anthony Radich planning. because it makes brainstorming been instilled in many different people on an individual about public policy issues for arts and culture just that level. Generally. because I than that. It is also helpful Mary has a better vacuum cleaner that cost less money. 67 arts that indicate how many dollars are generated in a community as a result of every dollar invested in the arts. who is the leader of the environ. Many people are nodding their economic driver. which to make funding decisions. so looking to successful efforts is one way of learning. but sit down and consider other options. Furthermore. As a result. Louis. think it addresses some of the important questions that have been raised about whether certain people can get Larry Meeker thrown out of the club. Michael Killoren otherwise known as “walking around money. Washington | February 2008 . they tend to believe that Jane Hansberry it has integrity. The causes range community about a movement. arts organizations are trusted. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS Larry Meeker fewer perceived biases. Arts leaders may have there is a proposal to have a separate commission with some degree of leverage with respect to leadership. A cleaner that he likes and tells people about it. it’s something much more profound aquarium turned into a seafood restaurant. we want long-term plan can help bridge the gap between elected to go buy one just like Joe’s. lion bond issue for the arts. which Anthony discussed as well. significant absence of options. to know your position in the list of priorities. people from various counties and on both sides of the state line represented. When people go to a museum. One thing that seems endemic to these activities is a I think developing a long-term vision simplifies the mes. such as the environmental from little leagues to volunteer fire companies to cultural movement. They have a limited purse with how to fully explore those alternative options. makes them much more risky. There are not many perceived conflicts of interest despite the fact that they can exist. but we are not inclined to cal decision-making is not this multiplier effect alone. There is a In the mid-1990s there were a couple of people who certain element of integrity in the arts and I expect that were trained in working with dolphins who had traveled arts leaders can probably come into regional issues with around the world and wanted to come home to Denver Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. There has been some conversation in this to distribute to their favorite causes. but it has also become major public policy and an much more complicated. Could we be facing an opportunity to heads—clearly we are not alone! create a similar value system? A powerful message here Chris Wineman is that every individual can participate and achieve some- thing.

The aquarium ended up being a mess because it was Anthony Radich completely undercapitalized. against going forward with the plans for the aquarium. The aquarium did go bankrupt. it was $70 million in munity and how much was borrowed? debt. Then the money started to come in. I think. Clayton Freiheit. 68 tain that they would pull everything together successfully which had never been very assertive. without a cohesive body to take on the cultural planning. ultimately under- that they actually made a deal with the SCFD. Jane Hansberry told anyone who would listen that the plans to build an aquarium would not work. They approached the SCFD amount of power was wielded in the initial stages when with the intention of applying for funds. A considerable campaign prior to opening. telling them that Denver had every major cultural rejected the appeals for funding—we understood that we amenity except for an aquarium. emphasizing their eligibility. we could avoid some of that wreckage. We finally decided that despite what the statute said. The SCFD board rejected the request. in which stood its role as public trustees and did the right thing. There should have been But the SCFD was fine with the idea since the agreement several mechanisms in place that allowed for input from was made that they would not be requesting any funds. charismatic. people asserted that they were eligible according to the but they eventually needed public money. to Later on. Everyone knew the aquarium would not make it. They started to put considerable pressure on the SCFD board. how much money was raised from the donor com- Before the aquarium even opened. we now have a fish restaurant. They were—and I’m sure they still public funding. I think it was one quarter away from opening at trict were the same people who were looking for a new that point and it hardly had the money for a marketing adventure in the form of the aquarium. It became an important public policy debate in my opinion. Washington | February 2008 . we were stewards of Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. and the SCFD did not want to be involved in it. The reality was that None of us were able to prevent it from going forward the people who were developing this plan were so cer. advised know they would not be going after public SCFD funds. For example. We all feel statute. Frank Hamsher Jane. people who possess knowledge about cultural facilities The aquarium’s advocates had also agreed to honor that and programs. the cautionary tale is that it should money were being told that they should not support it. dolphin-loving outcome. community with more communication. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS where they had grown up. Their push was quite were not going to serve as an ATM machine for these effective and they were able to rally considerable sup. The cultural managers throughout the city. The people contributing the From my perspective. directors in how it handled the situation. port for an aquarium. They made the rounds and started talking to was purchased by the Landry’s seafood chain for around everybody who was anybody in government and in cul. It was a good thing that the SCFD board ture. because sad about it—there was no need for it to happen. Where we used to have an I think that’s exactly it—if we have a healthier cultural aquarium. $15 million. So we enough to accommodate dolphins so they decided they stood firm on our decision to disallow them to apply for needed an aquarium. the director of the Denver pledge with some of the major foundations. we had a copy of the signed agreement in which they ultimately I think it was a credit to the SCFD board of stated that the aquarium would not apply for funds. The aquarium they claimed they would only be using private money. institutions. They wanted to continue the public trust and were supposed to be watching out working with dolphins but there was no place large for the public dollar in the citizens’ best interests. have never gotten that far. particularly those at the zoo and the nature and science museum. they would not apply for funds until at least after 2012. in 1998. The powerbrokers who created the cultural dis- belief. Again. followed closely by increasing debt. It was strange how everything happened. and it people. to let them Zoo who recently passed away. because the SCFD agonized over the decision. But this board. It was an interesting story with a good are—extremely smart. the aquarium was hurting beyond no avail. even though we knew it was a bad idea. lovely.

The best opportunities from my perspective involve the messy process. I think elements. difficulty of aligning both the objectives and the language The rest was borrowed. and not always positive. and being able to sit at the table. who as for arts advocates. The aquarium debacle has been of arts policy amongst at least three main constituency written about in some cultural journals since then. As we discuss these issues. Louis district was to risk doing things in the future that perhaps have not created from a sense of crisis and a need for stability. the big idea. only to learn at this late hour that they still cannot go to the ballot and must wait three more years. the So I have more respect for them after learning how hard most significant of which involves building a coalition this process is. But I suppose that is also indicative trying to solve any problems or come up with any big of the opportunity for state arts organizations. and the third is the Dale Erquiaga citizens who are asked to vote on the initiative we are I would like for each participant to briefly discuss what trying to achieve. It voice and have an impact. We have David Thornburgh heard about some of those at this seminar. I don’t often get The field is beginning to engage in reflection and dis- this opportunity and I learned a tremendous amount by cuss where to go next but few pathways have been spending this much time on it. I have learned an enormous amount at this seminar. What I believe we heard from everyone you have learned from this conversation and what you is that those constituencies have a different vision about are taking away from it. about arts policy in a very general sense. That is what I will be looking seems there are so many examples of how funding can to do. They have been working toward a cultural tax district for Ricardo Frazer four years now. about how they developed in the first place and about tions. support arts. I am quite hopeful for the Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. rather than simply talking envisioned. as well answers. Not much can be done outside of that inner circle. and those who are willing this conversation is that while the St. keeping in mind that we are not what is worthwhile. and the crisis or the having conversations with people who have strong ideas impetus which brought them about. which has a huge role in paying for whatever happens. munity and the public in our respective communities. My hat goes off to the people at MPAC. As someone who those might be occurred at this seminar. One is the arts organizations and advocates. one well-defined issue with such depth. sits in the ivory tower. Washington | February 2008 . the second is the business community. we yet been realized. discussion about the values held by both the arts com- particularly for people who don’t do what we do all day. Over the years I have had several intense. I certainly Michael Rushton think a great deal of practical thinking about what exactly I found this gathering very valuable. it’s become a case study in arts administration. it is quite helpful to meet people Anthony Radich who actually implement these policies and get them started from the ground up. which One key thing I learned concerns the importance and the was a substantial amount of money and lost opportunity. I am actually astonished by the opportunities offered by the future and My burning questions around these cultural districts are I think the limitations are those created by our imagina. experiences with tax districts. so it is crucial to determine Kris Tucker how to get into that inner circle where you can have a The term “messy” is the first one that comes to mind. culture. and healthy communities. It is rare in the conference I believe that we are at the end of a highly productive circuit to be able to spend this much time discussing 40-year cycle of growth in the state arts agency field. must now conceive a new set of driving ideas that will propel these initiatives and policies forward. My observation about and who have achieved things. to find ways to better inform the 69 must have had a difficult time grappling with this issue. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS Jane Hansberry Frank Hamsher About a third was raised from the donor community.

PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS

beginning of a more sophisticated conversation about Margaret Hunt
how these two entities could interact in the long-term for
What I am coming away with is beginning to question
the benefit of the public.
the leadership role of the state arts agencies, as well as
Joaquín Herranz the shared leadership role of local community leaders.
As I witness more and more communities in our state
I wanted to first thank everyone for the privilege of being establishing these districts, I am seeing a greater sense
a part of this learning community. What I am taking away of local ownership around arts and cultural policy, which
is a great deal of insight about some success around I think is very important. I was also struck by the discus-
taxing districts and policy matters. I am inspired by the sion of regions in terms of the geography of opportunity.
level of energy from the participants and the prospects I have been thinking about the regions that impact my
for the future. state, and they vary for different parts of the state, so
determining the specific region will involve some more
Robert Booker
thought. I like the notion of looking at the regional draw
70
This is an incredibly knowledgeable group and yet there of sports organizations as a potential starting point.
is a simplicity to the thoughts and ideas put forth—ideas
of collaboration and what kinds of deals to make. Some Michael Killoren
of the statements we have made and questions we have I want to thank WESTAF for bringing this gathering to
asked each other will continue to resonate with me after Seattle. This conversation has certainly given me a lot to
I leave. think about in my current role. I remember a time when
I had to make some difficult decisions and a prominent
Jane Hansberry
leader in cultural research said to me, “The arts are far
As someone who was very involved in one of these too important to leave to arts advocates.” That conversa-
districts for a significant portion of my career, I am tion reminds me that we cannot do this on our own. We
honored to participate in this discussion and to see that truly need to broaden our base of support and reach out
everyone has put so much energy into ensuring that we in a meaningful way to a wide range of communities. The
get increasingly smarter and more strategic about how comments on inclusivity are very well taken and they
we go about these efforts. We always want the next broaden our concepts of what arts and culture can be.
generations to be better. I am thinking about leadership I also appreciate the insightful comments about looking
and inclusiveness, as well as the importance of creating toward the next 50 years.
a more diverse collective of leaders in every aspect of
our society. I am thinking about those people who are Larry Meeker
two to three degrees of separation away from the inner I too would like to thank WESTAF. I think the main thing I
circle, and we all know who they are. I am also thinking will take away is the slogan: “Pay more, what for?” I think
about how we can groom arts leaders to be generalist that should be the mantra for creating a vision for the arts
leaders and how they can switch back and forth between as we approach arts initiatives and related public policy
different sectors. questions. We need to make clear the rationale for the
arts if we are to build supporting partnerships and if we
Dwight Gee
are to connect with the public—who not only votes on
I feel very fortunate to be involved in a community that is the policies and taxes but is also served by them.
embarking on this; we get to stand on the shoulders of
other communities that have engaged in these efforts and Chris Wineman
find out what the limitations are, and what has worked As an observer, one of the things that strikes me is the
and what has not worked. Above all, I am inspired by long-term perspective. Thinking about the impact these
the possibilities and the potential for collaboration and efforts can have in terms of an investment is incredibly
forward thinking. wise. My own feeling is that I do not to get to do this
often enough, and I suspect that many people in the

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PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS

field feel the same way. As a means of helping us think, we use, is key, as is connecting the process to the real
strategize, and make good investments, this is a model purpose of these initiatives and programs and their
worth following in this area, and perhaps in addressing true beneficiaries. It also struck me how people were,
some other questions as well. for lack of a better term, horrified at the lack of cultural
planning. What I subsequently heard was that cultural
Jean Mandeberg planning is not as significant as developing a community
I think I came into this seminar expecting this discus- vision, which is quite different than working within the
sion to primarily be about money. While it was obviously confines of the cultural sector. In the same way that Dale
partly about money, I am very appreciative of the fact discussed the difference in public perception between
that it led directly into several other issues that, in my Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, I think it carries over
opinion, are fundamentally much more important. Those into everything we are talking about with respect to inclu-
issues include sustainability, diversity, access, collabora- sion, diversity, funding structures, and the ways in which
tion, and leadership. These are the ideas I will take away those decisions are made.
from this conversation, rather than the minutiae of dollar 71
Mayumi Tsutakawa
amounts.
I expect that the man who builds cardboard boxes on
Mary Langholz Marginal Way is involved in the arts in some capacity.
As an observer and a newcomer to the whole process The city of Seattle to its credit has so many valuable
of tax districts, I have learned a great deal about the dif- neighborhood programs, and whether he has attended a
ferent ways in which they were created. I also recognize large cultural festival or has a child in a steel-drum band,
the importance of leadership and building community he has likely participated somehow in the arts given the
and dialogue. I always value dialogue and collaboration— wide range of opportunities. It is our job to get in touch
when you assemble people together for a discussion, with that connection at every level. The other critical idea
good things happen. I am especially drawn to the idea is patience—if we think about that long-term vision, I think
of a legacy. Having worked with one of the large orga- that we can make it happen.
nizations during a 100th anniversary, I had a genuine
appreciation for the legacy of what someone initiated in
1903 and remains today in a much greater capacity. It
is important to remember that we are laying the ground-
work for future generations. I am also very interested in
how the organization I run, the Washington State Arts
Alliance, figures into this process, and in what ways we
can collaborate and help.

David Brown

The concept of “Pay more, what for?” was the take-away
for me from this discussion, whether it concerns diver-
sity, education, or high-quality arts activities. The slogan
reminds us that we must build a compelling case, which
makes us more deserving of community support.

Julie Goodman Hawkins

I have learned a couple of things. First, Philadelphia and
Seattle are very much sister cities at the moment. We
currently have synergy, both in terms of our standing
with this issue and with activities such as hosting the
Americans for the Arts conference. Second, the language

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PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS

72

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PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS

Appendix or individual donors. Instead, they considered raising
admissions, increasing concession prices, relying on
volunteers in place of paid staff, and tapping the private
The SCFD Story: A History of the
and corporate sectors (Heschmeyer, 1981).
Scientific and Cultural Facilities District
Contemporary media accounts reveal a deeply ingrained
By Dinah Zeiger
sense of entitlement among the board members and
Dinah Zeiger has written numerous research reports for staff, who reacted to the funding cuts with dire predic-
WESTAF over the last 10 years. Prior to that, she was a tions of cultural collapse and severe limitations of ser-
business-economics-financial journalist with news orga- vices, programs and public access. Given the tenor of
nizations ranging from the Wall Street Journal-Europe the times and the particular personality of Denver, that
and Investor’s Business Daily to Knight-Ridder Financial may not be surprising.
Wire and McGraw-Hill Online. She earned a PhD in Mass
Communications from the University of Colorado at Boulder Denver: A Provincial Arts Town, Weak Cultural Policy
and presently teaches media law at the University of Idaho. 73
Under McNichols
This is the first of two pieces commissioned by WESTAF for
this seminar on cultural tax districts. Bill McNichols, Denver’s mayor through the 1970s,
epitomized the city’s image as a “cow town preoccupied
Section I: A Confluence of Events with skiing and the Broncos” (O’Neal, 1987). He was, as
In August 1981, Denver’s Office of Budget and one columnist wrote, “at once civilized and raw, a rose
Management informed its four city-operated cultural springing up in the midst of cow dung” (Satlow, 1983).
institutions—the Denver Art Museum, the Denver Zoo, By the 1980s, critics were citing his lack of leadership
the Museum of Natural History and the Denver Botanic in solving regional problems, like a rapid transit system,
Gardens—that their subsidies for 1982 would be slashed and his complete disregard for the arts: He skipped the
by $2 million. The cuts reflected a $30 million city bud- opening of the new, city supported, Gio Ponti-designed
get shortfall and prior action by the Colorado General Denver Art Museum to attend a Broncos game (“Broncos
Assembly. The state had subsidized the city’s cultural game,” 1971).
services based on the amount of use by non-Denver
The scandal-plagued McNichols era was marked by
residents. Under pressure from cuts in federal funds, the
cronyism and rapid growth. For 15 years, McNichols,
state Joint Budget Committee cut Denver’s funding to
Denver’s longest-serving mayor, oversaw an ambitious
$1 million in 1981 and eliminated it entirely in 1982. City
program of urban development, which included city-
support had comprised 47 percent of the total budgets
backed bonds for two of the city’s major institutions,
of the four, but Denver’s static tax base was unable to
the Denver Art Museum and the Denver Center for the
absorb the state cuts. The effect was instantaneous:
Performing Arts (DCPA). But he never fully supported
the Zoo’s budget shrank by 59 percent; the Natural
the arts, and in the late 1970s, only Denver, Pittsburgh
History Museum’s allocation dropped 45 percent; the
and Newark, among major U.S. cities, lacked an official
Art Museum’s fell nearly 25 percent; and the Botanic
arts agency (Bogard, 1980). In 1979, McNichols cre-
Gardens lost 22 percent. They responded by inaugurat-
ated the Mayor’s Commission on the Arts to “promote
ing or raising admission fees and reducing staff. For
interest in and support of the arts in Denver,” but it had
the cultural institutions, the challenge was where to set
no budget, no staff and no clear mission. Critics said
admission fees that offset the impact of the city’s funding
the mayor only acted to take the heat off himself, not
cuts without driving away patrons (Heschmeyer, 1981).
because he was committed to the arts. Others pointed
The severity of the cuts left board members reeling. out that the composition of the Commission included
The president of the Denver Zoological Foundation, Dr. “the old standbys”—representatives from the Denver Art
Conrad Riley, said in a letter to Mayor Bill McNichols that Museum (DAM), the Denver Center for the Performing
it was “tantamount to a shutoff of city funding.” The trust- Arts (DCPA), the Symphony, and the University of
ees of each board met to discuss ways to address the Denver—hardly indicative of an exciting or contemporary
shortfalls, but they appeared reluctant to tap foundation art scene (Calhoun, 1979). Jeff McCarthy of Colorado

Seminar Proceedings | Seattle, Washington | February 2008

The DCPA Morgan. the “people’s lobby. which were dominated by “well-intended his successful bid for mayor in 1983 (Kowalski. non-profit foundation. 1980). announced creation of the DCPA. 1979). which recommended construction When the state and city subsidies collapsed. and Frederick G. In 1971. downtown Denver. arrived in 1968 would be a public. an son in civics. Michael mid 1970s to pressing for legislation on public health. but that’s what he got when he excluded the Some in the arts community cited the lack of under. Critics Soto. interests of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts standing of the non-profit sector. State lawmakers praised him as “the people’s lobbyist” because he was unpaid. he turned his attention in the included the editor of The Rocky Mountain News. . in economics. Mayor McNichols its endeavors were not immediately successful (Osburn. Seawell. The Commission’s members. causes. In addition. [but] a certain naivete and insular- rations came to fruition. million capital improvement bond issue approved by He said his purpose was clear: “to use his extensive voters in 1972. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS Lawyers for the Arts said the Commission was a “les. . Bonfils Foundations museum gain new funding” (McCarthy. cited Denver’s “quick-buck. with the support and approval of the City and County of Denver. the existing Auditorium Theater. Foundations would build and maintain a theater complex. 1993) said cultural institutions had failed to evolve and adapt to a new reality. In a gained him a seat on the Denver Art Museum board. well intentioned [members] with period when the city’s highest cultural hopes and aspi- business expertise . too. In Colorado. marketing and advertising and state government and a financial position that had experts. a relative newcomer to Denver. and Oil in 1967. A graduate of the University of Missouri with a degree create a resident theater company. He word. Independently wealthy. Morgan served as a trustee of the Bank community blamed the Commission’s lack of funding for of Denver. appointed by the mayor.” trumpets a special section of ity” (Osburn. 1985).” who was drafted to the DAM board in the spring of inclusion of $6 million for a concert hall in an $87 1983 as the full extent of the loss of funding blossomed. Before the vote. Donald R. 1980). Donald Seawell also headed DCPA. Association backed the recommendation and sought ist. director of public affairs for the and publisher of the Post. corporate community. 1980). they needed to “act like a corporation and Morgan was a political player. president knowledge of Colorado’s legislative system to help the of the Helen G. the city’s of a concert hall and parking garage and remodeling cultural leadership –or at least its imagination –did. The Denver Symphony Into the mess stepped Rex Morgan. non-public way” of raising money in other large Center for the Performing Arts was also the chairman cities. He also pointed out that Denver’s The Denver Post in 1979 (Price. 1993). 74 but wheel-spinning amateurism” (Bogard. he founded Arkmo Plant Food Co.. like any other business” (Bogard. 1986. The newspa- fund-raising relied too heavily on benefits rather than the per was blowing its own horn: the chairman of Denver “quiet. Seawell. and contribute to the Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. . and the Bonfils having made a fortune in the chemical fertilizer business. The Denver arts laws. commissioned a feasibility study for a cultural center in 1985). for the toxic atmosphere. chairman and publisher treatment for alcoholism and changes in sentencing of The Denver Post. they had to learn to stand on their own two feet wasn’t prepared for a challenge to the grand scheme and not “wait for funding and end up on arts welfare. established by the deceased ture.” he concocted to bail out the city’s Big Four cultural institutions. the Denver Art Museum and the Colorado its inability to provide strong cultural policy leadership Academy and was a key fundraiser for Federico Peña in for programs. and the president. with key contacts in city hire professional fundraisers. Balfe Howard. mainly health-related. especially within the from the table. Washington | February 2008 . profit-making cul- the Bonfils Foundations. which he sold to Gulf until “the people demanded a better arts climate . .” that nothing would be initiated by the city agricultural chemicals business.” which elevated tensions in the arts community if owners of The Denver Post. John Jay. executive vice president and GM of the Colorado Impact of the DCPA and Donald Seawell Ballet during the early 1980s said the problem stemmed “The 1970s will be known as the DCPA Decade—the from “well meaning. Morgan devoted his energies some pretty savvy lobbying groups getting organized” to lobbying state and local officials on behalf of social (Bogard. Gully Stanford.

and an rel by 2000. was ousted when she requested financial information the orchestra’s board feared that “participation in a tax on the Bonfils Foundations (Satlow. used for traveling productions in the U. igniting a drilling boom the Auditorium Theater. the symphony’s continuing financial tions’ endowment was estimated at $55 million—that troubles over the following year drove it back to seek an created most of its difficulties with the Big Four. But as construc- tion neared completion. the Colorado performances in the Denver and Jefferson County public Symphony Association. January 8.” so was the Denver Symphony. and the mayor major cultural institutions. 1989. They alliance. Although musicians agreed to a 20-percent Concert Hall. and support from the season were cancelled. from in1934 and recently installed in its new Boettcher 1984-1989. 2008). most Colorado universities. A public endowment” for the center. The Denver Symphony: Canary in the Coalmine resulting in the loss of hundreds of thousands of dol- lars. by that time. by the fall of 1988 money matters by funds from the Ford Foundation. which contains four theaters. The final con. ostensibly shifted recalcitrant members off the board. It was later revealed that appeal for funds resolved the first impasse. the Helen Bonfils Foundation alone pumped $5. Its as well as political matter. 1979). But Denver’s (Satlow. launched through five executive directors in a five-year period. Construction of the complex was beset deteriorating economy. 75 Critics of the DCPA scheme pointed out that its board was little more than a rubber stamp for Seawell. home phony’s long-range plans. that continued throughout the decade of the 1980s ised the Bonfils Foundations would provide “perpetual and eventually doomed the Denver Symphony. in May 1990. schools. labor negotiations with the musi- cians union delayed the start 1977-78 season. 2005). the Big Four had crafted feared a public backlash against giving public funds to the outlines of Tier I legislation and divvied up the pie. according to Jim Copenhaver (personal If the DCPA was conspicuous by its absence among communication. In the early 1970s. 1993). overwhelmed the sym- figuration included the Boettcher Concert Hall. with most of the foundations owned little besides 90 percent of the the money placed in a separate trust fund and used over stock of The Denver Post and produced little income three years to augment musicians’ salaries. only three are elected. and statewide tours. but they rejected the offer. the Big Four did not want a outreach efforts proved costly. sending the domestic oil industry into a free-fall (Nulty. soaring from $2 a barrel to $40. McCarthy district would chase other donors away” (McCarthy. 1986. the oil industry in the mid-1980s. 1993). an ambitious outreach effort that included residencies at The organization filed for bankruptcy in October 1989. Many thought oil would approach $100/bar- booked by Robert Garner’s Center Attractions. The final concert of the Denver state of Colorado and the city of Denver—embarked on Symphony Orchestra occurred on March 25. invited the orchestra to join the alliance One city council member serving on the DCPA board in 1984 or 1985.5 million a year into the DCPA (McCarthy. Seawell prom. the Helen crises in the Mideast in 1979 had sent the price of oil Bonfils Theater Complex. points out that it was the DCPA’s wealth—the founda. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS maintenance of the center (Price. instead. the Symphony had pushed for inclusion of a new concert hall in the DCPA bond issue. grants from the had become critical and the first three weeks of the National Endowment for the Arts. the price collapsed to $10 in mid 1. As a practical The symphony’s missteps led ultimately to bankruptcy. however. and according to McCarthy. regular and ultimately merged into a new entity. 1983). In addition. the orchestra—aided pay cut in 1986.S. of summer concerts in 1984 at the new Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater coincided with unusually wet weather. Washington | February 2008 . 1983). an institution lavishly supported by a family foundation— and it didn’t include the symphony. However. In 1972. and an expanded series non-public institution included in the tax district. Of its The symphony found itself in the same boat as the other 19 members. free “city” concerts. Rex Morgan. Ironically.800-car garage. 1993). fueled in part by the collapse of with cost overruns and other problems. the orchestra ran the “Big Four. Denver wasn’t alone: Political of the Denver (now Colorado) Symphony. a pattern Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. (Goble & Goble.

but the imposition of an entrance 4 cents per $100 assessed valuation for the zoo and fee. The DAM closed off whole floors to on an increasingly barebones budget. the art cient private support to fill the gap.B. the Missouri Legislature enacted H. “a combination of direct and legislature on behalf of a similar funding mechanism indirect subsidies. at the Botanic the public. Washington | February 2008 . combined his business and legislative skills and established in 1908. As a result. He concluded after several months of scrutiny The Denver Art Museum. in 1971. city agency in 1951. The institutions and it likely would have aroused the suspicions of a Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. for a correction. Federico Peña. 12). Louis in 1971 (McCarthy. from health insurance to electricity. 1993. initially by imposing District entrance fees or raising those fees. example of a cultural district with a guaranteed funding built with public funds. The visual arts critic for The Rocky Mountain News Museum (1988). plunged. Prior to its establishment. Initially housed in a variety Metropolitan Zoological Park and Museum District of public spaces.. institutions. in detail and provided reams of information to bolster his causes. 2). Established as a tapped their existing foundations (McCarthy. 6). The art museum and 1 cent for the science center (Moon. while valuable display space had been consumed by a bookstore to “bring in needed revenues” (Clurman. By the early 1980s. the DAM had boasted the highest per-capita 1971 authorizing the possibility for a tax levy of up to attendance in the U. As a first step. Morgan approached the city. ties such as the Museum of Science and Natural History 1983). and the to have retrenched into its role as guardian of yesterday. drafted to its board in 1983 specifi- plants under its care without sufficient funds to pay for cally to help the museum find a solution to its financial dif- water and basic help? The Museum of Natural History. including the lobby of City Hall.” history museum (Moon. Louis’s County of Denver in 1932.600 zoo animals ate programs cutbacks. botanical gardens. the Denver Art Museum’s image and orientation were due city was the primary funder for the zoo and art museum. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS Section II: Organization & Concept of an Arts Tax scrambled to make up the shortfall. St. To and misunderstanding about the museum’s exhibitions ensure comprehensive support for cultural and scientific and collections. some form of tax district” similar to the one created in became an official art organization of the City and St. and without suffi- exist under the umbrella of the MZPMD: the zoo. 1993). the Botanic Gardens’ faced critical upkeep issues: how would it preserve the acreage and The DAM’s Morgan. for the DAM. the (MZPMD) was established in 1972 and is a leading museum moved into its new Ponti-designed building. high thermostat temperatures protecting rare tion to generate replacement income. ficulties. agency’s budget” (McCarthy. and a continuing decline in attendance. employees were paid from the city’s general Assembly president Fred Anderson to lobbying the state operating fund. some cultural and scientific facili- University of Denver’s marketing department (Clurman. and the Botanic Gardens created a founda- Gardens. the mechanism at the local level. Other measures included employee layoffs and according to McCarthy (1993). the institution seems museum. found itself in dire need of funds for connections with a lawyer-like mind: he studied issues 76 structural improvements to its main exhibition hall.S. faced with a fee for something previously free. For district idea. p. next. which offset various operating expenses. The report found widespread community apathy (now the Science Center) received no public support. he hired former Colorado General example. and attendance tenance at the Zoo and Botanic Gardens. five different subdistricts observed that the “cuts in public funds. 2001). in particular All four institutions had long-standing contracts with the newly elected mayor. Crafting a Tax Plan 1982). “1. The MZPMD later included two subdistricts for discount coupons and family days to attract new visi- the Botanical Gardens (1983) and the Missouri History tors. report recommended several remedies including offering 2001). chose not to The cuts took a toll on the daily operations and main- spend its money with these institutions. the science center. 1993. with the taxing the city. according to a report prepared by the Under the old system. p. The public. The city was skeptical on two counts: it contributed between 15 percent and 30 percent of each involved a property tax. By 1985. founded in 1893 by a group that what might be possible “was the establishment of of citizens with no art collection or permanent home. In addition. unpopular in 1982 (and today). 23 in Once. coupled with public indifference had taken a toll. while the others plants drew down its budget” (p.

which involved Cook County establishing a time (keeping pace with inflation) rather than remaining single-mill taxing instrument to support the gardens of static. when board members of the as it was later marketed)—as sufficient for their needs. the art museum and the botanic gardens found third consensus involved the structure of the tax district. who sat on the Zoo board. which would conform to the already existing Regional 77 cussions. Arapahoe. as well as eastern Adams and Arapahoe. Their previous relations seven metro counties. greater difficulty lay in splitting their own pie. The Big Four would get the bulk of and Jefferson counties approved a 0. themselves together on a trip and began informal dis. as they jockeyed for foundation and private support however. “Cultural Facilities District Act” was each. Three-quarters of the proceeds “because local governments are not so territorial about would go directly to the Big Four and the remainder their sewage” (n. they Denver already had two successful metro-wide talked about their independent endeavors and informally agencies—the Metropolitan Sewage District (now the agreed to continue discussions when they returned Metropolitan Wastewater District) and the Regional home. levied. The group Morgan carefully selected allies in the General Assembly. After briefly considering head and bed taxes and Ed Connors. The group also agreed on the size of the tax—a one-mill Each scheme supported only its own institution. Early Formula and Selection of RTD as Geographic a member of the Denver Art Museum board and Charles Boundaries Warren. a member of the board of the Botanic the St. often suspicious and sometimes hostile counties. McCarthy’s (1993) account. embracing had no history of cooperation. 1993). PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS bail-out by the surrounding suburban communities.d. not Denver. Residents of Douglas and Weld had been aloof. The create a new tax-collecting mechanism. The group reasoned that tourists often footed the Chicago Horticultural Society. Connors hatched a plan to copy a Chicago a sales tax because those revenues tended to grow over initiative. after much wrangling. According to Transportation District. to carry the bill. which bore fruit the next year. getting 33 percent. as historian Tom Noel observes. with the natural history museum tor. legisla- percent of the proceeds. a private board would more of the bill than residents. which lessened public pay for capital improvements and the city would provide resistance. the Big Four settled on Gardens. the Transportation District—in 1982. the natural history museum and the botanic organized by state law in 1961. perhaps. surrounding counties. After the Denver Tramway Company would be split among the counties. Morgan proposed creating a metro-wide tax treatment plants. The Sewage District. and the botanic gardens 15 percent. In February 1985. to share out their 80 choosing an influential metro-county. representatives of the zoo. Louis-model property tax. burdensome to the ordinary taxpayer (McCarthy. which included Julie Smith. plus members of the Peña administration and ferent municipalities and in 1988 gained voter approval several statehouse lobbyists. 1993). Connors hosted a “spring break” boat trip on the Nile. met and began to hash for a $97 million bond issue to expand sewers and out a plan. During the trip. encompassed 20 dif- gardens.5 percent sales tax the funds (80 percent of the total because their “need” to finance RTD. the legislature approved to pursue the requisite enabling legislation in 1986 to the establishment of Regional Transportation District put the idea before the voters. that levy. (RTD) in 1974. The group decided went out of business in 1970. 26 percent Senate Bill 55. finally agreed. The RTD footprint provided a practical was greater) with a small piece (20 percent) earmarked solution that cut across boundaries without having to for the counties to distribute (McCarthy. art museum. A zoo. (McCarthy. Boulder. changed during the 1984. removed themselves from the RTD tax district.). Denver. the art museum and zoo. and that a sales tax was less regressive and upkeep (McCarthy. Washington | February 2008 . 1986 and included the main points the Big Four had hammered out over the previous Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. division of the spoils. RTD aspired to be one of the It was an uneasy alliance among a group whose members largest transportation districts in the country. One big stumbling block involved the Remaining voters in Adams. Initially. The agency epitomized metropolitan district. 1993). it would be a one-mill property tax levied in five cooperation. 1993). who was president of the Senate. introduced on January 16. The first consideration was the nature of the tax to be Another key player—and institution—entered the fray. one-tenth of one percent (only a penny on a $10 bill.

The local newspapers endorsed the affairs director of the DCPA. the sors off guard and pitted the regional cultural community Denver Symphony. which told (personal communication. 2008). 28). It committee his facility “should have been included. Stanford called it “a greedy little A “coalition of the excluded” appeared to testify at a hear. Among the excluded. Gully Stanford. based on a formula of attendance and operating profile. public voters for approval. worthy. December 8. “In reality. Stanford (personal communication. were Joan French of the Denver Symphony. 1986). PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS year: a taxing district superimposed on RTD boundaries The issues raised by the Cultural Advocacy Group encompassing six counties that would levy a one-tenth involved equity. Washington | February 2008 . director of the Arvada Center. The latter included Section III: The Fruits of Non-Collaboration bills increasing funding for the Colorado Council on the The Rest of the Story: Reaction by the Arts Arts and Humanities as well as an appropriation request Community to the Proposed Bill for matching funds to support monies from the National Arts Stabilization Fund. January 8. into attempts to pass other bills” providing something for everyone in the state (Osburn. The major Council’s presence in the metropolitan area and margin. 1986). 2007) commissions and organizations. 1986). budgets. supported in the suburbs. with salvos of back-room dealmaking that “threw a monkey-wrench fired from within the ranks of cultural institutions. executive director of the CCA at the time.” he said. testified that the measure bill. “The CCA both groups to work out their differences and bring back wanted more support for the arts in the metro area. The Big Four believed alized the CCA in terms of Colorado legislative funding. the Arvada Center for the Arts The charges caught the committee and the bill’s spon- and Humanities. as mere entertainment. 2008). 1986). the whole scheme smacked of the arrogance be on track until the whole scheme blew up. arrogance and greed.” said Neal (personal communication. January The challenge occurred on Jan. so a united bill. but with recognition that we are a funds. despite yield would be divided among the four flagship institu. the Mayor’s Commission on the Arts. The bill seemed to Worse. Muted lawmaker opposition “designed to attract a county vote for Denver agencies revolved around whether rich. said the split was really between exhibiting institutions although not a member of the group. and the entire proposal would be submitted to the major institution” (Roberts. not also established a six-member board to administer the as an after-thought. it [the SCFD] dwarfs the gave the groups two weeks to rewrite the bill. the fact that some of the excluded were equally high- tions. the Gang of Seven –the largest institutions in the Cultural Advocacy Group with operating budgets over $1 million—thought the formula of Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. and later the Central City Opera and a host of other arts councils. 1993. p. the remaining 20 percent would be distributed Andrew Witt. told the as grants to any other cultural facilities in the district. issue was division of the funds. there was no way we could say the SCFD was not a good idea.” B-6). and Greg The group included representatives from the Denver Geissler of the Mayor’s Commission on Cultural Affairs. secrecy. Colorado Ballet. and the committee 8. bill” (Osburn. high-attendance venues also in need of funding. Opera Colorado. of the bill accused the Big Four of drafting a financial tural institutions. Arts. was inadequate and ineffective (Roberts. was the Colorado and performing institutions. which was never invited to the table. elitist institutions should [rather] than to enhance the cultural capacities of either receive public funds and why suburban communities the counties or the institutions” (McCarthy. Performing arts weren’t Barbara Neal. The Denver Post said these facilities were a “spe. 30. Also speaking for the “excluded” ing of SB55 before the Local Government Committee. should subsidize Denver attractions. The depth of dis- carious position with the state legislature over its funding agreement staggered the Senate committee. seen as ‘needy. Critics of one percent sales tax dedicated to funding area cul. Children’s Museum. The latter were seen “as less Council on the Arts. They cial responsibility” of the city but enjoyed by “the entire charged that the 20 percent “sop” was a political ploy 78 region” (“Sales tax bill.” the 80-20 split was equitable. however.’ What the Big Four failed to recognize said a degree of tension existed because of the amounts was that performing groups were especially strongly of money involved and the CCA’s own somewhat pre. The bill specified that 80 percent of the settlement that benefited them and no one else. the Denver Center for the Performing against itself.

the money (p. 42). bill to the state legislature in 1987. Greg Geissler. entitlements” (p. were highly confrontational. Louis. 1985. Morgan regrouped and called in an ally. accept spending tax dollars on competitive grants. the bill looked like a bailout of Denver’s institu- and “science. with the remaining 10 percent a genuine desire to spread culture to the masses. Old wounds reopened. ing animosity among the cultural institutions (McCarthy.” but no such precedent existed for support- tions. 1993. effectively killing it for the 1986 session. 26 to be via competitive grants—their rationale being that and was sent to the House. Ciruli argued. Ciruli played as well as to the majors. where it was post. according to The Rocky Mountain its attendance in 1985 came from the suburbs. it argued. the others. Furthermore. 37-38). after “behind-the-scenes pressure from ranking the big Denver institutions. However. The Center’s point was “sick and needs radical medicine” (Roos. Rex Morgan again intervened. The biggest problem. All along. the major by creating a third echelon: the middle tier would get institutions believed their own instincts were “rooted in 25 percent of the total. Tier I insisted on its dis- Objections by senators from suburban communities bursement by a formula based on attendance and oper- concerned about tax-equity issues almost killed it on ating budget. the Tier IIs were “piggybacking” and interested only in 35). According to McCarthy (1993). they The bill was assigned to the local affairs committee. Tier II institutions should receive their share based on a 15 with a compromise. the Arvada Center should. Denver’s own suburb of Arvada belied that claim. but its members wanted Tier II distribution the Senate floor. At the heart of the issue was whether The groups returned to the Senate committee on Feb. McCarthy (1993) says. 44). but it finally won approval on Feb. He resigned as chair tionship with city government. annually with an annual operating budget of $2 million. When it got to the House. the funds were rewards for quality work. Denver political consultant Floyd Ciruli. The core negotiations were con. House Tier I institutions argued that its members’ contractual opposition came from several quarters: some legislative arrangements with Denver—and the obligations stemming critics disliked in principle the idea of taxing districts on from them—entitled them to public support. in a repetition of Tier I institutions suspected that the agenda of Tier II the Big Four. which included Floyd Ciruli as an The Big Four now called themselves Tier I institutions. it belonged. The sessions. p. Initially. “the Gang of Seven organizations was more about financial opportunism distanced themselves from the rest of their coalition” 79 than culture. it drew 39 percent of Democrats. position. p. p. that “while voters might the 65-25-10 compromise and reinstate the 80-20 split. more than News. primarily in aid of Denver’s Commission on Cultural Affairs—representing the other four major institutions. 8). however. the Center claimed that 59 percent of 1985.” other lawmakers opposed taxes in general. of the Colorado Democratic Party in the spring of too. advisor to the Big Four. the grounds they could become “governments on their precedents existed (in St. the Big Four group accepted the funding formula presented by their opponents. New York.” while divided among the other 250 smaller organizations (p. poned. in fact. and for San Diego. Moreover. 1993. attempting to dismantle according to McCarthy (1993). Then. an instrumental role in crafting the messages and strate- ducted out of the public spotlight and involved trustees gies in the summer and fall of 1986 that brought a new of the Big Four as well as Gully Stanford. became Tier II.” rankled by his insistence that the party was its attendance from Denver itself. Ciruili became Yet the Center had been arbitrarily excluded from Tier a key strategist. lay in the continu- ing “performing arts” (McCarthy. The two groups The Compromise Plan—Tier II & Tier III agreed on a 65/35-percent split. If Denver’s four major the legislature in 1987 and every subsequent voter- institutions received “entitlements” based on their rela- approval campaign since 1988. Eventually. The city-owned Arvada Center served 200. Washington | February 2008 . As Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. Miami and own. although the language changed. linked primarily by their performing arts base. ostensibly.000 patrons That summer. formula or by grant. among others) for public funding of “culture” others. shepherding the taxing district through I. which passed on a 5-1 vote. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS attendance and operating budgets should apply to them a former elected official and party-insider. would not accept spending them on anything resembling which was not especially friendly. 43). where. it looked like and Anthony Radich—the then chair of the Denver the same approach as SB55.

Finally. said if any each other’s positions. For that to three distinct tiers. The next task was 1993). especially to the very smallest organiza. Wrangling over legislation went down to the wire as Tier I Section IV: The Fruits of Collective Action and Tier II organizations each introduced their own bills— How the Bill Became Law each had the ability to destroy the other. with a warning from a lawmaker that “if you eat each other for Historically. served as to the counties. Stanford (personal communication. according to carpetbaggers—in it only for the money. McCarthy (1993) paints corresponding funds for its visitors from Denver.” taxes. Washington | February 2008 . 2007) says the fight really concerned per- 80 Tier II organizations pointed out that its member orga. His “City Beautiful” plan included public libraries and fire stations. County cultural councils would reason alone.) parks. with some additional sweeteners thrown in for members of a Tier By the time Federico Peña became mayor in 1983.). during which time he tions and agencies.” In addition. In the end. but representatives from each side sat down for serious may be a sign that Denver’s experience may not be rep- negotiations (McCarthy. 53). $1. where. it “contributed nothing but disruption saw the situation as an issue of fairness—an equal place to it [Tier II]” (p. $3. lakes and bathhouses. December 8. you can be sure the Senate won’t pass your bill. Speer. to move some of the monies out of Denver and back initially a successful real estate developer. Despite Denver citizens had paid for an art museum. if not Witt. 67). local galleries. dance and music As amended. Andy a rosier picture: It was their respect for each other. HB1138 was virtually implemented a grand plan to remake the city. Denver’s history of civic support for public included a provision empowering the SCFD’s board to infrastructure extends back to the 19th century. Robert allocate and distribute 10 percent of monies collected as W.2 million. In addition. nate ego and loyalty and turf to the common good and islation. I and settled gracelessly into what it considered to be the Tier I institutions still believed the Tier IIs were a marginalized position in Tier II. with a board with broad and nurtured the patrons of the major institutions. all paid for by taxpayers. He built a identical to SB55. a one-tenth of one percent sales tax were essential to the cultural environment and without levy. it was a way he called “the Paris of America” (Noel. Tier II deserved the same treatment as Tier distribute the funds to Tier III agencies. young city into what minimal oversight responsibility. a zoo. the enabling legislation called for a taxing companies. January. Ciruli crafted a bill modifying parts of SB55. executive director of the Arvada Center. Tier II members constituted the grassroots “cultural feeders”—the small theater. 1987. III—made up of the smallest organizations. as well as a The final product contained most of the points sought Denver Mountain Park system. by Governor to outlying residential neighborhoods. while the Tier IIs McCarthy (1993). p. Speer. we nizations also were struggling with budget shortfalls. network of tree-lined parkways leading from downtown It was signed into law on May 22. Denver voters have supported infrastructure lunch. This does not diminish the merits of SCFD. many with public Roy Romer (McCarthy. Denver’s mayor from 1905-1916. ceptions: “they (Tier I) thought it was about survival.d. to sell it to the public. They oversight authority. saw it as their greed. and a 65-25-10 distribution of the funds collected them there would be no audience for the majors.3 million. n. 1993.3 million. the bill originally introduced in 1986. and museums—that seeded district within the RTD footprint. 1993. and one of the foremost natural history Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. then all similarly eligible institutions (like Arvada) accept the best product they could for the community in should also be written in. helped transform a raw. 63). who migrated to Denver from Pennsylvania “discretionary funds” among the tiers. Arvada should as well—and if Denver received affected their constituents. Stanford (personal communi- funds for visitors from the suburbs. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS that if Denver’s institutions received funds for suburban because lawmakers came to see it as an equity issue that visitors. the Tier I institutions capitulated finally botanical garden. a their resistance. designed named institutions. Tier II. It gave the board in 1878. and Tier III. with four I. Arvada should get cation. The compromise licated easily. Arvada wanted a place in Tier which they lived” (p. and their willingness to “subordi- institution was specifically written into the enabling leg. 66). According to McCarthy (1993). would receive $8. to protect the majors but not excluding Tier II (McCarthy. 2008) said. by the originally excluded Tier II members. 8. Tier I. at the table (p.

1-percent sales tax to build a new baseball bought $6. plant 30. according to Greg the Great Depression. The emphasis on “future generations” was a Tier II institutions with no track record of public financial conscious marketing strategy. most importantly. McCarthy (1993) poster child for their rationale was the crumbling Denver observes its inclusion was: Symphony. The leg- financial accountability than about exhibiting-collecting islative “declaration” said “scientific and cultural facilities institutions with issues of maintenance and sustainability are an important factor in the economic well-being of sharing funds with performing-arts organizations. he persuaded the city’s citizens to invest billions in its director of the Mayor’s Commission on the Arts. Western Stock Show Grounds. it may have funded it as a support annual revenue entitlements. the public would summarily reject it. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS museums in the country. 44). children.d. the message emphasized that benefits to particular segments of the population. the community as except of course for Tier I—the disbursements of which a whole. December 6. but in his eight years as mayor. In 1990. Children. but became a prominent Critics pointed out that the rationale was less about feature in the bill finally approved by lawmakers. first. They feared that disbursing funds to 1993). cents-a-day cost of the SCFD plan—and glued on a pin. n. with almost a million square feet on a 25-acre would yield. Washington | February 2008 . 1993. and restore Civic Center Park and the City and for their money and had to know who would benefit and County Building in 1989. funds were distributed as grants and not entitlements. focus. 1993. “would almost certainly send both tiers new. the campaign emphasized the site downtown. which were widely distributed. 1993. The lobbyists’ carefully crafted 1987 campaign to sell the idea of a taxing district to voters included several The main messages of the campaign revolved around the strategic decisions. structure for redevelopment of the South Platte Valley. First. or expand many branch libraries. 1993). improve parks. then and now. Voters “needed” to get something Hospital. 2007). p. rated the highest prior- were based on a formula determined by attendance and ity because cultural education polled highest (McCarthy. Denver One big concern in the legislature was that the SCFD was floundering in one of the worst recessions since not become another big bureaucracy. on the verge of bankruptcy in 1987-88. Thus. That same year. such as the symphony. a $3 billion airport in 1989. a District in 1988. specifically addressed in SB55. finally. and a minuscule amount of the funds (0. 74). expand the National All of the institutions contributed funds to the campaign. Geissler (personal communication. provide infra. 44).000 worth of pennies and drafted volunteers. Tier for a purely tactical reason: that while the I feared that if voters were “presented with the possibil- legislature likely would not have funded culture ity of an organization. citizens also voted for a smallness of the tax levy—only one penny on a $10 pur- $200 million bond issue for the Denver Public Schools. chase. Voters also narrowly The committee even produced a penny lapel pin: Morgan approved a 0. p. p. good year or bad.000 trees. stadium for the Colorado Rockies major league baseball who welded together two pennies—symbolizing the two- team. allocated to administration. The the state” (McCarthy. Denver legislation had to assure the public that their tax money voters approved the Scientific and Cultural Facilities was not going to pay a bunch of bureaucrats. second. good product or not. update Denver General which focused on need.). The economy provided a accountability. One ad featured a cup of coffee surrounded by while another $95 million bond issue won overwhelming eight pennies: the message—two cents a day. Throughout. and at the time largely unexplored.75 of 1 percent) were $242 million bond issue to rebuild streets. the economy. Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. receiving for itself. The infrastructure (Noel. It was not to defeat in the referendum” (McCarthy. they had to know how much the $126 million taxpayer-approved Colorado Convention tax would bite into their pocketbooks and what benefits it 81 Center. When Peña took office. 57 cents a support to enlarge the central library and restore and/ month—became a potent selling point (McCarthy.” (McCarthy. Denver completed the why. In a three-year period. operating budgets.

A feature section late. The board quickly drafted and adopted bylaws bol: a polar bear. Yard signs popped up everywhere. 1987). Little sustained opposition surfaced. The Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. In addition. The biggest issue. issue that had to be addressed immediately was setting 2007) emphasizes how critical that was to passage of up a mechanism to collect the tax from businesses in the the legislation. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS for something else…the idea of culture as an counties had to see the political and economic benefits economic stimulus was created. Tier III. and support from percent of sales. potentially. Tier I recipients. and hearings would be held in August. and a two-month. The SCFD share was to be forwarded the county commissioners. all parties came together and set up committees and elected officers.6 percent to 0. ing. 1993). popular Zoo and Natural History Museum.” which the inclusion of Tier III within six weeks of the end of the affected month. to happen. amendment. would submit formal requests for funds by March main players. 5). proved an ingenious selling point because it “allowed the counties to take ownership. 75). along with a statement of planned use of the funds potential opposition by engaging “leadership groups”— and an audited 1987 and preliminary 1988 budget. was distributing the funds postcards. thus. Romer. chaired by the publisher The Denver Business Journal. manager. dollar spent by cities on the arts returned more in direct in part because the organizers began the campaign taxes than the amounts spent” (p. On Nov.” Stanford (per- The economic argument also sat well with voters and the sonal communication. volunteers mailed letters. they courted the counties. 1988. included begrudgingly in the purely for the legislature’s benefit (p. The campaign fielded a very effective (and the procedures. December 8. immediately hired Ciruli. and it plan through the legislature and a voter campaign. voters in the six counties decided: over half a effects and pointed out a residual benefit—the opportunity million people. labor organizations. even though one of the main ben- tive. By law. The quality-of-life issue played well. sew- McCarthy (1993) points out one reason Amendment 9 ing ill will. which rose from 0. the campaign recruited the support of the providing economic stimulus was (and remains) attrac. newly formed district. city’s two newspapers. which included all of the tions. as provided the campaign’s paramount (and still used) sym. critical in the early stages. Stanford (personal communication. 75 percent of the total vote. 81). Washington | February 2008 . A board. then ‘positioned’ to their constituents.” some on television. etc. approved the 82 for Denver to shed its “cow town” image (O’Neal. influential community leaders. published in eficiaries would be the DCPA. evening and lished a tentative formula to determine who got what and weekend “phonathon” urged voters to talk to their friends when the initial distribution would occur. it would be collected as pion’ to provide leadership. with a tax-collecting district on January 1. the four named institu- ubiquitous) speakers bureau. The community and business leaders—who spoke to PTAs. in that same issue spelled out the economic spill-over 9. Significantly. success required “a ‘cham. regardless of who led it or the images pared a budget and hired a staff attorney. especially when attached to a regional argument positioning Denver as Section V: Implementation the arts mecca for several adjoining states. The organizers sought to preempt any 1. followed by a cils. 2007) said. espe. as the SCFD became The major institutions led the marketing campaign. epitomized the culture of the commoner. he crafted about SCFD. the benefits of cultural institutions In addition. buy in from the business part of the RTD tax. December 8. budgets would be reviewed between March and June. most of it in print (p. pamphlets and brochures to every home in to the tiers. who had masterfully guided the cially. formed and strong family appeal (McCarthy. the arts institutions taking a backseat to the immensely comprising three members appointed by Gov.7 community. legislation. in notifying affected businesses would make vendors liable for funds they didn’t collect. however. One major used. Donald Seawell’s (1987) comments. The Zoo. Ciruli estab- the proposed district. giving detractors little time to organize. chambers of commerce. Its planners had to move quickly. Then. city coun. According to McCarthy (1993). which was something the SCFD did not want prevailed with voters in 1987: “nearly relentless advertis. Delay made possible. which had plus one member appointed by each county. Ciruli pre- to sell the idea. In particular. emphasized that “every of The Denver Post. 1989. With a flat economy and high unemployment.

initial legislation. organization or institution had to councils and hundreds of small cultural institutions. of the Big Four to secure a permanent source of funding exclusively for themselves. Washington | February 2008 . too. which dictated that the Denver or natural history” (McCarthy. public broadcasting. together for a common goal. Instead. which required documented proof. the SCFD guidelines (McCarthy. The council. to review their applications. tion. which already required the approval of their county cultural councils. botany. wanted to review the plans 1 to June 1. Stanford (personal communi- cation. distributed $5. theater. The over time fell in line. Tensions erupted in the first years over accountability. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS distribution of six-months’ funds on September 1. SCFD in the legislation—for fear they would gobble up ing budget shortfalls in many areas. 1993). also pointing out that the Commission on Cultural Affairs (and Geissler) got caught in the middle of mayor-city council politics. but the initial struc. the SCFD the funds but to pick up the administrative costs. ings in August and distribution in September. Tier III was still organizing its cultural councils reasoning that the Commission on Cultural Affairs (and and received its share of the payout in March of 1990. The procedures also irked the Tier process has been refined over time. mary purpose” and “public benefit.” By law. Geissler) were mayoral appointees. did not want to be the funds--were schools. who could be influ. Excluded from the City Council distribute cultural funds. politics and rivalries. From April flexing its oversight muscle. libraries in the position of distributing monies for culture when it and historical societies. fac. which offered not only to distribute Yet. and eventually to the Mayor’s Commission on the Arts. dance. for oversetting the efforts giving the reauthorization an overwhelming thumbs up. In a short window clarification of the statute regarding questions of “pri- between January and April. it would shift the because they appeared to be more about preservation burden to a third party. The obvious candidate was the than programming. and him directly. who saw it as a slap at the and in this case have responded twice more. The Council’s decision who helped make it reality. especially over the insistence of the SCFD board ture was in place. at the end of its first year in operation. 83 delayed formation of a council. IIIs. presentation. music. a critical component of both legislative and voter sup- port. Part of the problem lay ervation of art. The SCFD. through the production. but one that frequently provoked the ire of the large Tier I and Tier II institutions. 2007). based on the institutions. each county had to estab. followed by hear. zoology. The state continued (and continues) Denver Commission on Cultural Affairs.3 million of tax monies to the Tier I and II The City Council chose the Foundation. the successor to fund the Colorado Historical Society. The SCFD board was charged with making certain that the funds collected from the public were spent as intended. December 8. applicants submitted notice of application of the tiny Tier III recipients to ensure they conformed to and entered a 60-day review period. be “the enlightenment and entertainment of the public In Denver. 2007) supports that interpretation. 1993). A second contender was the private Denver Foundation. One other stumbling block that affected Tier III was Tier III faced the most challenges. Tier II had to submit “definitions” by March 1. or pres. in municipal statutes. according to those mayor’s office (McCarthy. led by Geissler. The institutions balked at first but Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. They had learned to work ignited a protest from Geissler (personal communica. 1993). The latter were problematic was cutting other programs. each time Commission. SCFD allowed the county historical societies into the one of the original activists objecting to the Big Four’s Tier III fold. the primary lish a cultural council—a slow process involving six purpose of an agency. The cultural institutions in six counties had accomplished enced in their distribution decisions by pressure from the something even more remarkable. exhibition. and the voters responded. rather than slowness. December 6.

District.xsp?id=WH941&qid=sdx the Creek. December 14). The Bowery Board: Westword. p. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS References Geissler. oil industry? Fortune. The battle of the arts. I. The Denver Post. I. Clurman. p.denverlibrary. The Rocky Mountain News. M. Focus: Healthy arts Association Papers. Museum image chal. B. killed. Goble. Storm warning: Price. October 8). lenged. P. (1986. The Westword.J. q5&fmt=tab&idtoc=WH941- pleadetoc&base=fa&n=15&ss= Osburn. Arts benefactor Morgan. 44. (1982. January 7). N. Morson. (1971. November) 3. The Rocky Mountain News. J. City and County of Denver. The Rocky Broncos game more important than DAM. Paper produced proposes game plan. Museum’s shows bleak Moon. January 10). (2001). hopes fused in ‘DCPA Decade. & Coble. Cultural tax measure Noel. M. November 29). Denver Symphony Orchestra and O’Neal. study of three cultural districts. The 1% art solution. E. January 8). A short history of the Scientific Clurman. M. I. Retrieved from: http://eadsrv. The Denver Post. (1986. (2002. Western History Collection. p. (1993. The Denver Business Denver Public Library. The Denver Post. Up the Creek. H. Hall. sales tax for arts facilities. Retiree’s a people’s 84 Clurman.denvergov. A tax for shared culture. Cultural taxing bill true&as=true&ai=Advanced. (1979. J.asp Gavin. March 15). Washington | February 2008 . Mile High City. August 26). I. Bogard.A. (1983. January 21). J. Who lost the U. (1993). January 30). Denver arts groups’ tax gambit. (1981. 4. Retrieved from http://www. (1992. (1986. Journal. M. Cultural governance: A comparative for ’82. McCarthy. 76. Denver’s cultural Cultural outlets prepare to weather budget crunch. (1986. P.S. (2005. July 6). Council on arts lobbyist and persistent. The Rocky Mountain News. p. (1979. The Denver Post. April 26). The Rocky Mountain News. January 24). Society. B-5. The state of the arts. Mountain Business Journal. October 31). Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. & Rulbal. (1987.’ The Denver Post. October 10).org/about- denver/history_narrative. G. J. Osburn. January 19). Chronicle of Philanthropy. Historical Note. L. The Rocky Mountain News. Jargon. Roberts. J. September 28). 8. 33 (4). C. The Rocky Mountain The Rocky Mountain News. November 4). The Calhoun. January 7. Cultural agencies hit by budget cuts. (1993. October 20). (1986.J. The Denver Post. 2005. on behalf of the Scientific and Cultural Facilities (a). Administration & Clurman. The Rocky Mountain News. The Westword. Gonzalez. (1983. Culture Clash. April 3). G. S. December 23). (1979. 6-5 House vote kills Denver arts panel is announced. Expansion urged for bill to aid cultural activities. (1985. 432-455. (2001. (1988. R. April 12). The artists’ council on the arts. (1980. make cash registers ring. J. B-6. Kowalski. Heschmeyer. September 1). opposed by arts supporters. (1986. Up org/sdx/pl/toc. The Rocky Mountain News. Arts commission head and Cultural Facilities District. T. dies of cancer. Fulcher. March 15). Nulty. (1982. News. boasts new look.

Washington | February 2008 . September 28). The city game. (1983. D. N. March 25). PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS Roberts. The Rocky Mountain News. The Denver 85 Business Journal. Sales tax bill would benefit museums. C. allies advance tax on culture.A. The Westword. Denver. (1986. B. The Denver Post. B-5. Bill. The Westword. The Denver Post. 14. January 17). Satlow. (1985. (1983. (1986. February 26). (1981. Zuniga. Westergaard. Support for the arts is essential for Denver’s future. (1993. Cultural groups agree on how to split revenue. May 5). The Westword. October 1). Seawell. Soto. B-5. Roos. Rex Morgan. The Rocky Mountain News. F. J. Outgoing leader urges Dems to change. B-6. Sullivan. philanthropist and lobbyist. My life with Mr. February 14). J. (1986. (1987. The Denver Post. July 8). Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. May 5). The arts under financial siege. p. 8. N.

Washington | February 2008 . PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS 86 Seminar Proceedings | Seattle.

on their funding has on excellence in programming and the other hand. Both the outline for this piece and the final written material have been approved by Jane When developing a regional cultural tax district. affecting the perceived need for a state arts agency to serve the Regionalism has a Great Future metro area. but the SCFD did much more than that. New taxes remain unpopular. attitudes and aspirations of multiple communities. much more effective—and politically palatable—piece of tions. and became a major factor in many cultural policy decisions over the next several years. conducted by researcher Dinah Inclusion and Collaboration Fuel Long-Term Zeiger on December 18. retaining Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. implementing a tax system to support regional of these smaller cultural institutions hindered any discus- cultural institutions that benefit suburban populations sion of the potential impact the SCFD might have on can prove to be an efficient use of tax dollars. A more inclusive and collaborative process at communities have demonstrated an appetite for the the outset likely would have saved time and effort. Regional efforts incorporate the ideas. the overlay. Some of the tax district implications related to excellence are: The SCFD conforms to the footprint of three existing districts: the Regional Transportation District (RTD). efforts to establish high. fostered a healthier cultural ecosystem long-term. 2007. voting pattern. While these As we increasingly come under the influence of global- intersections may have occurred anyway. Certainly the funding function of a large cultural tax district such as the SCFD inevitably affects The District’s Footprint these factors. Indeed. with two the region’s cultural ecosystem. The absence However. and states are too large and diverse. Plotting a new tax district within the lean toward not rocking the boat. greatly limited discussion about the SCFD’s geographic borders and by Dinah Zeiger and Jane Hansberry which areas should be served. Regions. historically located in urban core areas. It added signifi- cost institutions in multiple suburbs must be avoided. by WESTAF for this seminar on cultural tax districts. Towns are too Cultural funders are always interested in the impact small. However. The rapid suburbanization of the United States the warring factions to collaborate. more thought- ization. construction and support of performing arts venues. cantly more money to the cultural funding pool. and organizational analyses from administrator of the Scientific and other efforts. First. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS Reflections by Jane Hansberry on her boundaries of an existing voter-approved district allows 10 years of experience as the district organizers access to previous and newly generated polling. The SCFD’s first effort at drafting legislation derailed when a group of 87 The Regional Model is Smart cultural organizations and their leaders objected at being A regional approach to serving major institutions makes excluded from the decision-making. thereby producing a means many residents live far from major cultural institu. Zeiger reports the interview Success as a series of key insights. The following comments were captured in an interview with Jane Hansberry. Suburban legislation. the s Because cultural tax districts appear to reward sta- Urban Drainage Corridor. and the Stadium District (base. more than add time to the project’s timeline. thus lowering costs. can bring the mix of local communities excellence as expressed in the management of a cultural together. organization. Lawmakers forced sense. local communities The Issue of Excellence provide the social glue. board and staff decisions may ball and football). second. infusing a regional effort with its particular texture and perspective. Washington | February 2008 . the greater the possibility of success. aggregating ourselves in a way that provides a ful advance community dialogue about them would have meaningful counter-balance becomes a useful strategy. bility over innovation. This is the second of two pieces commissioned greater the effort to collaborate and include others. The originators of the caveats. Cultural Facilities District in Denver particularly within the RTD boundaries. the institutions supported must provide a District sought funding to backfill lost public revenues— high level of service. yet they have been averse to founding and supporting major The lack of collaboration at the inception of the SCFD did museum-type institutions. the Hansberry.

The district has created new cultural its science and nature components. ad- 88 hoc. Doing so is a complement tax district organizers need to determine where culture to our success. Everything the flow of funds to an institution may be shunned. interest of the district or its constituents. and possibly no-longer publicly supported. let alone get it passed. But the SCFD is be possible based on “cultural” alone. In fact. and our willingness to share is—or is not—on the public’s radar and be realistic about information. they may find their ability to influence the conversation—let alone control it—greatly curtailed. Anything that risks the terms of funding. district. New revised effort encompassed the zoo and recreation—for legislation inspired by the success of the SCFD should this read “Soccer Moms”—the effort succeeded. and sometimes under-informed decisions become abhor the inclusion of policy directives in legislation. which may not always be in the best by directing funding away from the most conservative.” which One possible way to avoid these shortcomings is for control all later choices and decisions. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS the regular receipt of a large check from a depend. Although many cultural tax district supporters first step. Conclusion Culture and Science The SCFD is a wonderful addition to the cultural ecosys- Culture tends to get lost when a tax district emphasizes tem of Colorado. the arts component Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. This occurs partly because science-based culturals usually command large budgets and large audi- ences. If the cultural community wants a voice in the development of a cultural tax district and the policies that unfold through it once implemented. Salt Lake City not a perfect system. s The significant volume of money received may cre. enhancing their ability to influence the general public. Cultural seek to improve on the model. Once arts-based cultural interests join with science and nature entities in a compact. art forms. Without this level of discussion. and it failed at the polls. and a cultural tax district may not a regional basis—as they should be. a regional opportunities for many citizens and helped ensure infrastructure needs public support across a range of that the largest cultural institutions receive support on community interests. When a along with its strengths before designing legislation. of cultural organizations alone may not have sufficient able source may trump taking risks that might impair breadth or depth in a community to advocate for a tax the flow of such funds. a full and the cultural tax district legislation to address its role in formal discussion of the policies and core philosophies encouraging excellence and supporting groundbreak. mal early discussions becomes consequential. the ability of culture alone to carry a district. Yet. the precedent established in even infor- loss of public support for the tax district and. informal. Thus. Washington | February 2008 . and I encourage those seeking to organized its first cultural district campaign around the develop a cultural tax district to analyze its weaknesses city’s arts institutions. arts-based institutions must speak with a united voice and present a cohesive vision to the larger group of collaborators. that will govern a cultural district should be an important ing work. thus. Conversations that Become Principles ate a tendency toward self-censorship and more When something is new and grows to be significant in conservative programming. done at the beginning becomes “first principles. our learning. Including non-cultural organizations in a district also brings influential board members and funders neces- sary to support the effort. it may actually ensure the district’s long-term survivability the guiding star.

PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS

Cultural Equity and the Scientific To gain perspective on the SCFD’s commitment to the
and Cultural Facilities District arts, the SCFD’s $40 million distribution is nearly 1/3 of
the $124.4 million that the National Endowment for the
Executive Artistic Director Anthony J. Garcia, El Arts appropriated in 2007.
Centro Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts
Center, Denver, Colorado Since the institution of the SCFD, Su Teatro has received
grants ranging between $18,000 and $50,000 from the
Anthony J. Garcia was invited to participate in this Denver SCFD Tier III and local county cultural commis-
seminar on cultural tax districts but was unable to attend sions. The SCFD tax distribution has grown from $14.9
due to illness. He is a leader in the Denver community million in 1989 to more than $40 million in 2007. The
and has strong experience and perspective on the issue Denver Mayor’s Office of Education and Children con-
of cultural tax districts. Garcia has been the executive ducted a quick survey of groups that could be identified
artistic director at El Centro Su Teatro since 1989 and as possible culturally specific organizations and found
has been director of the Su Teatro company since 1974. that the total distributions to these groups is probably a 89
He is an instructor in Chicano Studies at the Metro State little more than $312,000. Denver’s Latino population is
College of Denver, and he is the vice chair of the Board around 34.8%.
of Directors for the National Association of Latino Art
and Culture. The founders of the SCFD never really intended for the
money to do more than support the larger mainstream
Garcia serves as resident playwright at the Centro, arts organizations of Tier I and Tier II, but at some point a
generating successes such as the 1986 production third funding tier (Tier III) was established as a catch-all
of “Introduction to Chicano History: 101,” which was for smaller arts groups to be eligible for funding. They
featured in Joseph Papp’s Latino Theater Festival in would be allotted 10% of the pot—which has since
New York and subsequently toured the U.S. Southwest increased to 13%. This included all of the Latino orga-
and Mexico. In 1991, Ludlow, Grita de las Minas, also nizations and all but one African-American organization
by Garcia was performed at the TENAZ Festival in San that struggles to stay in Tier II—an intermediary category
Antonio, TX. La Carpa Aztlan presents: “I Don’t Speak to which Tier IIIs are encouraged to aspire.
English Only!” is the company’s most successful tour-
ing production to date. Written in 1993 by Garcia and The SCFD has been a boon to all cultural arts organi-
the late Jose Guadalupe Saucedo, the production has zations in the SCFD district and really has increased
toured Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, Kansas, cultural participation in very unique and profound ways.
Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Texas, and California. However, in a somewhat Orwellian fashion—where all
organizations are equal, but some are more equal than
“Since 1989, Scientific and Cultural Facilities District others—it has managed to maintain a system segregated
(SCFD) has distributed funds from a 1/10 of 1% sales by class and race. It rewards organizations with money
and use tax to cultural facilities throughout the seven- and resources disproportionately. The more you have,
county Denver metropolitan area. The funds support the more you get. And conversely, the less you have, the
cultural facilities whose primary purpose is to enlighten less you get. Organizations can move from Tier III to Tier
and entertain the public through the production, presen- II, but only one, the Denver Center for the Performing
tation, exhibition, advancement and preservation of art, Arts, has been able to move from Tier II to Tier I. It is very
music, theatre, dance, zoology, botany, natural history doubtful that it will ever happen again.
and cultural history.
The Tier I organizations maintain a unique relationship
Distributions are made through a three-tiered system. with the city in that they are quasi-city organizations: the
SCFD annually distributes approximately $40 million Zoo, the Botanic Gardens, the Museum of Nature and
to over 300 organizations. In 2005, cultural facilities Science, the Denver Art Museum, and the aforementioned
funded by SCFD contributed $387 million in new dol- Denver Center for the Performing Arts. In most cases, the
lars to the local economy, a 10:1 return on investment City of Denver owns their facilities and maintains them,
at the time” (www.scfd.org). while the organizations offer programming. While no one

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PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS

would argue against the need for organizations such as their artistic skills to the highest level—leading us to the
these, these organizations are also independent non- circular conversation about artistic quality. Artistic qual-
profit organizations with boards and visions that reflect ity requires resource investment, which sets standards,
the preferences of many of the elite in the area. Although evaluates, and rewards on the basis of artistic quality.
there are occasional efforts meant to foster inclusivity
and diversity, such as offering community free days and The SCFD has no mandate for cultural equity and the
the attempts by organizations to diversify their boards governing boards have only a little wiggle room to address
of directors and campaigns, not much has changed and this issue. But to place any culturally specific pots or
very little pressure has been placed on these organiza- diversity funds aside is to raise the specter of affirmative
tions to open up. action or quotas that—even in a progressive city such as
Denver—generates tremendous fear. Also, many believe
In the SCFD authorization, the Colorado legislature man- that the arts are above such things, because of a belief
dated the three-tier system to be policy and is therefore that great art transcends all things—including class and
90 bound by statute. Consequently, to raise criticism about race. The reality is that the arts are one of the largest
the inequities of the system is often met with hands domains of exclusivity and elitism and for the almost 20
thrown in the air in helpless resignation that nothing can years of the SCFD’s existence there has never been a
be done. After all, the SCFD structure is the law and real serious discussion of this issue.
to propose a challenge at reauthorization time is tanta-
mount to attempting to kill the golden-egg-laying goose. So what do we do? First off, I would like to thank
We are not supposed to notice that the goose is laying WESTAF for the opportunity to express these thoughts.
bigger and brighter eggs for those who already have big This has been one of the few opportunities for a forum to
golden huevos in their nests. offer these views without the fear that any criticism of the
SCFD is an immediate advocacy for its demise.
Where does the SCFD money come from? Well, we all
pay into the pot—after all, it is a sales tax. That means Obviously, I feel there is a real need to invest in our
Latinos, with a population in Denver of 34.8 % and grow- organizations of color, in terms of infrastructure as well
ing, pay a significant amount into the SCFD distribution as financially. Here are some thoughts:
pot. Maybe not 34.8 %, but certainly not less then half
s Building solid staffing, revenue streams, and
of 1%, which is what Latino organizations cumulatively
facilities for these organizations would allow them
receive from SCFD funding.
to begin competing with mainstream organizations
Among the many arguments in favor of the SCFD is for revenue and audiences, and would dramatically
its positive effect on tourism and also the creation of expand the programming palette of our cities and
additional dollars for other industries—from hotels to res- grow the arts communities there.
taurants to artists to construction to advertisers to trash
s Allowing organizations of color to compete is impor-
removal to Internet and cable providers to maintenance
tant. The SCFD three-tier model eliminates that
workers. The arts have a role as an economic engine.
possibility. Small organizations must compete with
The SCFD could be looked at like a $40-million stimulus
hundreds of other small organizations for a limited
injected into the economy. It is a fair to assume that this
amount of resources, but cannot compete with
butterfly effect happens in the Latino community in a
larger organizations for larger amounts of resources.
lesser—significantly lesser—capacity. While Latino arts
If it is truly about quality, then let us all prove our
organizations can certainly create additional opportuni-
quality on a level playing field.
ties in their communities, such opportunities are created
at a diminished level. We can only supply those oppor-
s Ethnic participation must be more than just a market-
tunities to our community based on our capacity. And
ing tool. A few years ago at a Colorado Council on
as long as our capacity is disproportionately (and by
the Arts Task Force meeting, organizations passed
statute) less, then what our community receives in return
around their season brochures with colorful pictures
is also less. This also includes our artists who toil for less
of folkloric dancers, Aztec dancers, and mariachis.
and thus never receive the support and time to develop

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PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS

But when you looked inside the brochure to for public funding from an ever-diversifying public,
see the board and staff members, the brown then we need to accept the challenge of building the
faces on the covers were absent. What we have resources available to those communities as well.
is a commoditization of the ethnic arts so that Any change in the SCFD structure would take an
they present the illusion of inclusion. It is safe incredible universe-altering event. It may not happen
enough to present ethnics, but less so to actu- in my lifetime. But for those of you considering such
ally allow them to have any control, autonomy or a model, it is not too late to save yourselves. At a
independence. minimum, please raise this discussion: What will your
city look like? What do you want it to look like? And
s Cultural organizations of color need control, what are the wonderful possibilities that a cultural tax
autonomy and independence. Unfortunately the district has for inclusion, equity, and change?
price of independence has been a “ghettoiza-
tion” of ethnic arts where they are presented
in inferior facilities, and with limited resources. 91
We don’t necessarily need others to do our pro-
gramming, run our organizations, or tell us what
we are doing wrong. We feel we are capable of
programming ourselves. Since we have not had
the time and resources available to build our
organizations, we remain at a disadvantage.

s We must really look at cultural equity as an
asset. We need to re-examine our definition of
the mainstream. My audiences are no longer
exclusively brown; they are black, white, Asian,
and everything in between. We have nurtured
audiences that identify culturally in many ways.
People will go to the opera one night, the hockey
game the next, and come to Su Teatro on the next
night. We are willing to not be marginalized.

s Do not look at our growth as a threat to the
stability of mainstream organizations. According
to the Denver Mayor’s Office of Education and
Children, the Denver school population is now
more than 57% Latino. This will be our future
audience. They will also be future arts subscrib-
ers—and our organizations would be more than
willing to share our audiences and resources.

Rather than sounding like an artist’s whine and a
demand for more recognition, I would like this to
read as a cautionary tale as well as an opportunity
to address our collective future. If we believe that
we will forever live in a segregated arts world of the
haves and have nots, then the three-tier model of the
SCFD will need no revisions or challenge. However,
if we really have any interest in providing equitable
access to all our communities, especially as we ask

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PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS 92 Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. Washington | February 2008 .

October 2007 This data was compiled by the Morrison Institute for Public Policy at Arizona State University under a con- tract with the Maricopa Partnership for Arts and Culture (MPAC) and is presented here courtesy of MPAC.125% County Council I.5% .775.5% SCFD Board Counties) tax 0.2007) Tier II – 10% (A&C) appointed by County) (adtl. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS Comparative Research on Dedicated Public Funding Models for Arts & Culture Maricopa Partnership for Arts and Culture.827 Tier I – 65.5% legislative (0. Summary of Funding Sources* Sales Tax Initiatives 93 Detailed information included within this report Sales Tax Initiatives City/Region Tax Mechanism Approved Distribution Allocation Governance Denver (7 Multi-tax sales Legislative $39.700 Tier I – 11% (A&C) RAD Board (Allegheny tax 0.692. 0.5% approval Libraries – 32% County and for County Parks – 28% Mayor w/one purposes) Sports – 18% member elected by existing Board members *Research provided in part by the Morrison Institute for Public Policy’s report. Tier II and Recreational – 30% recommends – Zoological) County decided final funding Albuquerque County sales Legislative Estimated City A&C – 65% Advisory Boards (Bernalillio tax 3/16 of 1% referendum $40 million County A&C – 5% appointed by County) Big Non-profit – 2% County Council Other – 12% recommends – County decided final funding Pittsburgh County sales Direct $77. PERFECT PITCH: Considerations for a Dedicated Funding Source for Arts & Culture Seminar Proceedings | Seattle.767 Tier I – 48.1% referendum (2006 – 70% Tier II – 9% appointed by Lake County) represents Tier Zoological – 12.875% Advisory Boards City (Salt tax 0.1% referendum (2006) Tier II – 21% appointed by Tier III – 13.602. Washington | February 2008 .5% County and Governor Salt Lake County sales Legislative $13.

75% of total taken out prior to distribution for administrative costs 94 Tier I: 65. Boulder.827 (2006) distribution: Authorized: 1989 (5 years).592.1% sales and use tax Total annual $39. Tier I the Denver Zoo. Denver.694. and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts) included in statute. Denver Museum of Nature and Science. 5 major institutions (Denver Art Museum. as a primary purpose for the enlightenment and entertainment of the public through the produc- Eligibility tion. 2004 (14 years – 65% voter approval) Approved: Legislative Referendum Allocation (2006): 0. (Tier III) s Counties receive funds in proportion to amount generated in their jurisdictions. Washington | February 2008 . theater. Douglas and Jefferson counties Population served: 2. Paid quarterly without condition. music.728 273 organizations s 11-member board with a member appointed by the county commission of each participating county and four governor-appointed members (Tier I & II) Governance s County Cultural Councils represent their areas’ needs. s Principal office within the district. s Principally benefit district residents.295 million. Distribution decided by individual County Cultural Councils. Denver Botanic Gardens.295 million and meet basic eligibility criteria: s Non-profit 501 (c)3 status or local government agency. Tier II natural history or cultural history. Arapahoe. s Must be in existence for five years Tier III Have an annual operating income under $1. presentation. dance.172* Sales tax mechanism: 0.324 5 organizations Tier II: 21% $9.518. Same criteria as Tier II: must be in existence for three years * According to 2006 US Census estimates Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. s Operate primarily within Colorado. public “Economic and Social Activity Reports” track participation county by county.692. zoology. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS Denver Name of Initiative: Scientific and Cultural Facilities District Geographical region: Adams. exhibition. 1994 (10 years).5% $24. Broomfield. Have an annual operating income of over $1. advancement or preservation of art.725. s Detailed. s Counties develop own guidelines for Tier III recipients.761 27 organizations Tier III: 13. s Provide.5% $5. botany.

000.5% of that revenue distributed to zoological facilities/organizations with average annual operating expenses of less than $2.875% $6. have a substantial track record and show a stable history. which ultimately approves all distributions. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS Salt Lake City Name of Initiative: Zoo.132.5% of total taken out prior to distribution for administrative costs 95 Tier I: 48.000 or more. in-kind contributions also Tier II considered. s Zoological applications reviewed by the Tier I Advisory Board. s Distributed to no more than 3 zoological facilities and organizations within the county. Zoological s 94. Washington | February 2008 .1% sales tax Total annual $13. Arts and Parks (ZAP) Geographical region: Salt Lake County Population served: 964. s Organizations that apply and qualify as a Tier II organization are not guaranteed funding.730 N/A Advisory Boards make recommendations to the County Council. Governance s Priority given to organizations that can solicit and receive matching funds.000.775. Continued on page 94 Seminar Proceedings | Seattle.819 112 organizations Zoological: 12.125% $1.767 (2006) distribution: Authorized: 1993 (failed). 1996 (10 years).239.732. s Applications reviewed by 7 member advisory board appointed by the County Council and must include at least 2 arts community members.906 23 organizations Tier II: 9% $1. s Priority given to organizations that can demonstrate a strong connection to the community. s Applications not recommended as one of the 23 organizations submitted for Tier II funding. s No Tier II applicant may receive more than 7% of the total amount of funding allocated annually to the Tier II process.000.048* Sales tax mechanism: 0.5% of that revenue distributed to zoological facilities/organizations with average annual operating expenses of $2.670. s 5. Tier I s Organizations that apply and qualify as a Tier I organization are not guaranteed funding. s Applications reviewed by 9 member advisory board appointed by the County Council and must include at least 1 arts community member and 2 local mayors. 2004 (71.3% voter approval – 10 years) Approved: Legislative Referendum Allocation (2006): 1.311 2 organizations Recreational: 30% $4.

a signifi- cant presence or manages/presents in Salt Lake County and serves an audience of 75. create stability and enhance Salt Lake County’s cultural offerings Tier II and community. Tier I s Must have qualifying expenditures of $250. and Parks Program’s minimum financial health test on a regular basis Utilized to build organizational capacity. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS Salt Lake City (continued) To build organizational capacity. create stability and provide adequate. financial accountability.000 in average eligible expenses over a three year period s Must pass the Zoo. community/public purpose. create stability and Zoological provide adequate predictable support. organizational stability. predictable support. Eligibility s Funding based on the organization’s clear cultural or botanical purpose. fund zoological facilities. Zoological funding utilized to build organizational capacity. * According to 2006 US Census estimates Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. and community served.000 or more persons annually. 96 s An organization will not qualify to receive ZAP Zoological funds unless it has its headquarters. Arts. Washington | February 2008 .

518.000. Cultural organizations and institutions that have as a primary purpose the advancement or preservation of zool- ogy. art. the city and county as follows: s 65% will be distributed to the City of Albuquerque for cultural programs and activities. Authorized: 2006 (10 years) Approved: Legislative Referendum Allocation: Revenue may NOT be used for capital expenditures. will appoint a Cultural Advisory Board to advise the County Commission. First proposals will be funded in 2008. non- profit foundations.000. Eligibility s Principal office located within Bernalillo County. 97 s 1–3% will be used to educate the public on the use of the revenue.5% $24. s Primary purpose is cultural programs.5% $5. and develop a package of recommendations that will go to the County Commission. s 3–5% will be used for administration of the revenue received from the tax. music. Washington | February 2008 . s 5% will be distributed to Bernalillo County for cultural programs and activities.725. literature or the humanities. Tier I: 65. dance. Every two years.000 per year. theater. the Cultural Advisory Board will put out Requests for Proposals to the arts and cultural organizations. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS Albuquerque Name of Initiative: Quality of Life Initiative Geographical region: County of Bernalillo Population served: 607. s Must have held 501(c)3 designation for a minimum of three years.728 273 organizations Funds will be managed by the County of Bernalillo. Members of the board will serve three-year. The evaluation process for the review of proposals will include a public review component. * According to 2006 US Census estimates Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. museums.324 5 organizations Tier II: 21% $9. library sciences.000.761 27 organizations Tier III: 13. The Board would be composed of people knowledgeable about the arts and Governance cultural community. s 12% will be distributed to organizations that have a strong cultural program but do not have culture as their primary purpose AND foundations that are affiliated with state or federally owned institutions that offer cultural programs to the general public.1875% (3/16 of 1%) increase in the Gross Receipts Tax Annual total payout: Best estimate approximately $40. s 1–3% will be used for the implementation of the Cultural Plan. evaluate responses. endowments or fundraising. The remaining revenue will be distributed to private non-profit 501(c)3 organizations.694. Educational institutions (K-12) are not eligible for distributions. s 16% will be distributed to non-profit organizations with an annual operating budget of more than $100. which in turn. The Board will consist of between 9 and 15 members. staggered terms and shall not be removed during their terms except for malfeasance.510* Sales tax mechanism: 0. s 2% will be distributed to non-profit organizations with an annual operating budget up to $100.

The Board appoints a 27 person Advisory Board to provide public input and comment on policies and procedures. The 6 appointees serve terms concurrent with the appointing authority while the seventh member serves for two Governance years. Libraries 32% $24.233. Washington | February 2008 .000 2 distributing organizations Special facilities 11% $9.776* Sales tax mechanism: 1% sales and use tax (½ goes to arts/culture/sports contracts.700 77 organizations Distribution for all allocated areas is made by Board of Directors composed of 4 persons appointed by the County Chief Executive.731. ½ goes to the county and its municipalities) Total annual $77.000 14. s Category B .000 43 libraries Parks 28% $21.700 (2007 – does not include 50% allocated to the county & regional distribution: municipalities) Authorized: 1994 Approved: Legislative Approval (approved directly by the legislature without being voted on by the 98 public) Allocation: (2007) Less than 1% of total taken out prior to distribution for administrative costs.736. * According to 2006 US Census estimates Seminar Proceedings | Seattle.000 acres Sports facilities 18% $14. Support is typically unrestricted. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS Allegheny County (Pittsburgh) Name of Initiative: Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD) Geographical region: Allegheny County Population served: 1. new equipment or repairs to equipment. accessibility improvements. Provides 2 types of funding: s Category A .181.Capital maintenance for repair of existing facilities.603. 2 appointed by the Mayor of Pittsburgh and 1 person elected by the 6 appointees.503. Eligibility s Applicants must be governmental entities or non-profit.Operating support for ongoing activities of the organization.000 9 contracted organizations Arts and cultural 10% $7. tax-exempt corporations s Applicants must provide programming or services of a regional nature in Allegheny County.400. Nine regional assets (Special facilities) are contractual assets and have been given guar- anteed funding for a period of five years (2005-2009).

html?_lang=en.org/ Population Estimates.qualityoflifenm. N. Seminar Proceedings | Seattle.org/. (2005). Retrieved from http://www.org/. Quality of Life Initiative Website. Retrieved from http://www. Denver. Zoo. US Census Bureau Website: American Fact Finder. Washington | February 2008 . 99 Allegheny County (Pittsburgh). Retrieved from http://factfinder. Morrison Institute for Public Policy. Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD) Website. Salt Lake City.radworkshere.slcozap. Arts and Parks Program Website.census.scfd. Albuquerque. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS References Welch. Scientific & Cultural Facilities District Website. Retrieved from http://www. Perfect pitch: Considerations for a dedicated funding source for arts and culture.org/.gov/home/saff/main. Retrieved from http://www.

Washington | February 2008 . PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS 100 Seminar Proceedings | Seattle.

Perfect Pitch: Considerations for a Dedicated Funding Source for Arts and Culture. Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. The Alliance for Regional Stewardship. Phoenix. Monograph Series for the Alliance for Regional Stewardship (No. 101 The Morrison Institute. D. The Western States Arts Federation. A. Cultural Planning and the Creative City. Comparative Research on Dedicated Public Funding Models for Arts & Culture. 72–85. Reflections by Jane Hansberry on her 10 years of experience as the district administrator of the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District in Denver. 38-48. Denver. PA: David Thornburgh. The SCFD Story: A History of the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District. AZ. Ft. International Journal of Arts Management.. Denver. Henton. A Blueprint for Regional Results.Worth. CO: Dinah Zeiger. TX. J. Maricopa Partnership for Arts and Culture. (2008). G. Public Budgeting & Finance. Markusen. 196–210. R. (2005). (2006). Philadelphia. Earmarked taxes for the arts: US experience and policy implications. Journal of Arts Management. M. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS Background Readings Geursen. 11). Paper presented at the annual American Collegiate Schools of Planning meetings. 33(3). & Rentschler. 25 (4). (2006. (2008). the seminar. (2008). CO: Dinah Zeiger. Tempe. November 12). Support for earmarked public spending on culture: Evidence from a referendum in metropolitan Detroit. Unraveling cultural value. J. (2005). (2003). The Western States Arts Federation. Rushton.. Melville. Regional Stewardship and Collaborative Governance: Implementation that Produces Results. 6(3). & Parr.. Rushton. (2007). Law These selections were provided to participants prior to and Society. Washington | February 2008 . (2004). M. AZ: Nancy Welch.

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m. Review of ground rules 12:00 p.m.m.m. · Phoenix 8:45 a. 2008 policy Anthony Radich 8:00 a. leaders Booker who were active in three different tax-district processes will provide perspectives on and 3:45 p. Break 8:25 a. Kansas effort Larry Meeker Michael Rushton 1:30 p. Washington | February 2008 . Working dinner Margaret Hunt Welcome Kris Tucker.m.m.m.m. Discussion 9:30 a. Session Three Unwritten Histories 2:15 p. February 12.m. · The St. Discussion Seminar introduction 10:30 a.m.m. Adjourn · Impact on the development of cultural Tuesday. Session One The Cultural Tax District Landscape 1:00 p.m. Louis Zoo-Museum District Agenda Frank Hamsher Monday. Washington.m. Brief reintroductions 11:45 a. 4:00 p. Keynote on regionalism 103 Intended and Unintended Outcomes David Thornburgh · Recipient definitions 8:15 p. 2008 · The Salt Lake City Zoo. Wrap-up session Joaquín Herranz. Final comments by each participant analysis of processes related to establish. Discussion 8:15 a.m. Session Two · Seattle Written History Dwight Gee An analysis of the Detroit Cultural Tax · Johnson County.m.m. Discussion Margaret Hunt 8:45 p. Lunch 8:30 a. Arts and Parks District 7:10 p. Session Five Kris Tucker will present a comparative Proposals for New Cultural Tax overview of cultural tax districts now in Districts operation. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS Seminar Agenda · The Denver Scientific and Cultural Facilities District The seminar was convened at the Sorrento Hotel in Jane Hansberry downtown Seattle.m.m. Anthony Radich. Discussion Myra Millinger 9:10 a.m. Keith Colbo 10:15 a.m. Break Dale Erquiaga 10:45 a.m. February 11. Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. Session Four 7:45 p.m. Discussion 2:00 p. Robert Moving beyond official histories.m.m. Dale Erquiaga. Break 9:45 a. Adjourn ing and maintaining the districts. Breakfast 11:15 a.

Washington | February 2008 . PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS 104 Seminar Proceedings | Seattle.

including budget director. Washington | February 2008 . He has served as president of the development and organizational change. Allen Centennial Commission and the Inaugural Leadership Institute for Brain Science. painter. the agency behind (NASAA).com. He holds a bachelor’s degree in politi- with the Montana Interagency Coordinating Council for cal science from the University of Nevada-Reno and is Prevention. Prior to found- ing his firm in 1989. Committee of the Arizona Mexico Commission by She currently serves on the boards of the Seattle Public Governor Napolitano in 2006 and serves on the Arizona Library Foundation. His last appointment was director of the Department of He is also the president of Rhyme Cartel Records Inc. collaboration. Notre Dame. planning. an Governors in various offices. from 1990 to 1995. Francisco. President Ronald Reagan appointed him to the public affairs staff of the White House Conference Keith Colbo is the president of Colbo Consulting Group. He was formerly board of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies a vice president with R&R Partners. He joined the Arts Board in October 1985 where he was Dale Erquiaga is president of Consensus LLC. Booker Americans for the Arts. Booker as director of Nevada’s Department of Cultural Affairs has served on the boards of Arts Midwest. specializing in group facilitation. an Commerce. a nine-member council of agency heads currently pursuing a master’s degree at Grand Canyon that fostered planning. entertainment company focusing on the distribution of retiring from state government service after 25 years. Erquiaga is also a WESTAF trustee. and business consulting. urban music. where he is responsible Montana Independent Bankers since 1994 and is also for the management.. Minnesota and service as chief deputy secretary of state. 2008. and Council of the Alliance of Arizona Non-profits. She holds a bachelor’s degree has served on a number of grant review panels for State in art from Saint Mary’s College.. and video development. Booker was the executive director Hopkins University. grant maker focused on strengthening the cultural sector and responding to the needs of vulnerable populations Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. Philanthropy Northwest. on Small Business. Prior to joining Vulcan in 1999. and the Erquiaga joined a United Nations delegation that super- Minnesota AIDS Project. and is the chair of the Erquiaga’s experience in government includes a stint Minnesota Governor’s Residence Committee. Quarter Dollar Commission. She also held a date. Coliton was director of the Cultural Facilities Fund in San The biographies listed here were current in July. Media. marketing and promotion the chair of the Board of Trustees of WESTAF.C. Inc. as a member of the Minnesota Governor’s Las Vegas’ “What happens here. artist management. Colbo has been the executive director of the independent record company. In 1996. Colbo was involved Encyclopedia. of the Minnesota State Arts Board for eight years. Colbo served under four Montana Ricardo Frazer is the president of Hardroad. He was a visual arts specialist at the National Endowment was appointed as the co-chair of the Arts and Culture for the Arts in Washington D. and a 105 Arts Agencies and the National Endowment for the Arts. of multi-platinum. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS Participant Biographies in the Pacific Northwest. brand port program director. where she designed and implemented a national sponsorship Robert Booker is the executive director of the Arizona program focusing on contemporary visual art. position as visual arts consultant for GAP. where she managed a loan and grant program Some information may have changed by the publishing for the development of cultural facilities. The foundation is a regional Paramount Network’s (UPN) weekly television series. Museum Educators Association. His essays have appeared in the where his responsibilities include lobbying. a firm the assistant director of touring arts and institutional sup. stays here” campaign. Booker is an art collector and vised the first post-war elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Arts over AIDS. Coliton Commission on the Arts and also a WESTAF trustee. around young child and family well-being. master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from John Prior to joining ACA. In 1985. Grammy Award winning artist Sir Mix- A-Lot and a roster of eight other recording artists. Allen served as the co-executive producer/music supervisor Family Foundation and the library. Baltimore. He Susan Coliton is vice president of the Paul G. and Art for Playboy Television and the music supervisor for United Collections at Vulcan Inc. program Nevada Historical Quarterly and the Online Nevada evaluations. Experience Music Project. strategic planning. and cooperation University.

He has also worked as U. and arts groups Hansberry previously served from 1990-1999 as the on community relations. civic matters. Most recently. policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He holds a master’s to restore and maintain a premier 1. Louis. Denver’s Rape Awareness and Assistance Program. Louis region and nationally. Hansberry has served on matters. and the International Labour Organization. Dwight Gee is the executive vice president of community Jane Hansberry is the executive director of the affairs for Seattle-based ArtsFund. Herranz currently conducts research Frank Hamsher is an independent public and civic on the strategic management of public and non-profit affairs consultant. many corporations. Hamsher serves on the boards of the Urban League of Margaret Hunt is executive director of the Utah Arts Metropolitan St. he has also University of Colorado and a bachelor’s degree in eco- served as consultant to the George Soros Foundation nomics from the University of Massachusetts. instructor. Department of Housing and Urban Development.300 acre urban degree in city planning from the University of California park. and then as volunteer and board member in establishing and running arts councils promoting Mongolian arts both Joaquín Herranz is a professor of public administration in Ulaanbaatar. Hunt worked as a consultant for Fundraising Counsel Inc. Hunt is a visual artist Louis. Beginning in 2005. She has been involved in develop- training program to help train and place volunteers with ing ski racing programs for skiers with disabilities. In 1999. and urban studies at the Evans School. & Eppenberger). senior vice president and partner for Fleishman-Hillard. He is also past two-term has been involved with Winter Park’s National Sports board president of FareStart (a non-profit program to Center for the Disabled as a disabled athlete and train the homeless for jobs in the food-service industry). and in the U. In addition to a doctorate. Formerly. Hansberry serves on the visiting committee of Seattle University’s has a master’s degree in public administration from the Non-profit Leadership Program. profit sector—specifically in the area of cultural activity— Denver Comprehensive Plan 2010. inter-organizational networks. in St. Downtown St. an organization he Foundation for Human Enrichment. New City School. he has worked extensively to numerous non-profit boards and committees. Frazer is a former chair of the Seattle Arts council of Danforth Plant Science Center.D. Louis Partnership. Hamsher Commission. and crises for public and private entities His research includes studies for The Urban Institute. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS The Watcher. including build coalitions and craft action plans to support the non. World Bank. he was director of research partner at Husch Blackwell Sanders (formerly Husch at the Urban Strategies Council. as well as the intersections of community profit organization partnering with the City of St. based somatic psychology training organizations. development. public institutions. Colorado- joined in 1989. the University of Washington. he established a board leadership and Visitor’s Bureau. a Boulder. Denver Metro Convention Partnership.S. a non. and the public affairs advisory Economic Development for the Salt Lake City during the 2002 Winter Games. Louis Chancellor’s Council. She served as the director of Community and Forum. a current WESTAF trustee. Hamsher has provided strategic communications at Berkeley and a Ph. juris doctor from Yale Law School. She currently serves on the Summer Scholars is past member of the Leadership Tomorrow Curriculum Board of Directors and East High School’s A+ Angels Committee and a 1997 graduate of that program. he was the former president agencies. and boards of non-profit arts groups. Since 2002. a regional law firm based in St. senior counselor to the mayor of St. Louis. He Mentor Program. Louis development and arts and culture. Louis. Metropolitan 1988. workforce and executive director or Forest Park Forever. and as a Prior to his doctoral studies. Council and a WESTAF trustee. In that capacity he works with the media. a community received a bachelor of arts from Princeton University and activist. and artist.S. arts and non-profit advocacy district administrator for the Denver Scientific and issues and studies of economic and non-profit policy Cultural Facilities District. University of who has been active in the local arts community since Missouri-St.. Mongolia. Washington | February 2008 . the United Way of Greater St. controversies. in urban political economy and and operational counsel on public issues. Denver Schools 106 through the Puget Sound Regional Council’s Prosperity Budget Advisory Committee. a Salt Lake City-based firm that advises non-profit organizations on Seminar Proceedings | Seattle.

and was associate director of the Flinn Foundation. encourage and support arts and audience development D. Kansas. she served as a member Kansas. where he devel. and on the board of the Educational Policy ing workshops that address economic development. He was managing director at the was appointed Chair of the Board. Millinger includes individual artists and arts and cultural organiza. local she served on the Board of Directors. He holds a Ph. (formerly National Arts Stabilization). D. government. including three years on the staff of culture in Seattle. and agency’s mission is to promote the value of arts and private philanthropy. Theatre in Seattle and program involved in the activities of the Conference of Southwest manager at the Sheldon Arts Foundation in St. Mexico University. Arizona. education. Louis. commissioner of the Southwest Foundations in recognition of her many years Johnson County Public Art Commission. In 2004 she was the recipient Foundation Board of Directors. Culture. Killoren served as Seattle’s cal science from the New School for Social Research. In 1992 she joined arts agencies. a regional consortium of over 200 member foundations in a seven-state area. of the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) since August of 1996. of the Phoenix Commission on Excellence in Education. and Criminal Justice Department of Western New and as president of the University Club of Phoenix. and holds a degree in politi- tions of all shapes and sizes. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS how to raise money. a sole proprietorship that focuses primarily on facilitating as a commissioner for the Phoenix Office of Arts and strategic planning for financial institutions and present. she provided leadership in the development of initiatives in arts. Myra Millinger is the president of the Maricopa ects manager and economic development specialist at Partnership for Arts and Culture in Phoenix. The istrative positions in higher education. board member of the of the Founder’s Spirit Award of the Conference of Arts Council of Johnson County. PacifiCorp and has served on the boards of Repertory Prior to assuming this position in 2004. member of the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in Overland Park. Fellowship Program. He retired from his post as Award in recognition of her significant contribution to the vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas arts of Arizona. where he teaches an annual course In 1995 she was the recipient of the Governor’s Arts on economic development. as well as the president of Meeker Consulting. Washington | February 2008 . Meeker is also a professor in the Business Arizona’s statewide advocacy organization for the arts. The office manages Seattle’s public The Ford Foundation in New York and six years as a dean art program and a portfolio of “Civic Partners” which in the admissions office at Wesleyan University. Dramatic Arts. elected officials and commissioners to the Board of National Arts Strategies in Washington. and in 1999 she was recognized by The City after 28 years of service. Ms. In that capacity he is responsible for Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. rural and suburban communities. dent from 1999-2000. Locally. arts Millinger is a member of Grantmakers in the Arts. During her twenty-one in communications from the University of Utah. and board of service to philanthropy in the Southwest. to promote arts and cultural offerings to regional audi. she was a seri- County Convention and Visitors Bureau. 107 first director of cultural tourism for the Seattle/King Prior to entering her university studies. where he worked with artists. Martha Graham School. an Arizona active in fund raising for Ballet West. She holds a degree philanthropy established in 1965. and serving economically disadvantaged as president of Arizonans for Cultural Development. and in 2002 throughout the region. She has also been a special proj. and Michael Killoren is the director of the Mayor’s Office community health. ous student of dance and drama. She has also held a number of admin- of Arts and Cultural Affairs for the city of Seattle. years at the Flinn Foundation. populations. Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. Millinger served two terms fair lending. studying at the Boston oped a new marketing initiative and built partnerships Conservatory of Music. and the American Academy of ences. where organizations. Millinger was Dance Theatre and the Downtown Alliance. and served as its presi- Larry Meeker is the current mayor of Lake Quivira. and positioned Seattle as a cultural destination. Foundations. is a native of Massachusetts. in business Anthony Radich has served as the executive director from the University of Kansas. She has been actively not-for-profit Alice B.C. He is the former executive director of the King County Arts Commission. Meeker currently serves Business Journal as one of the ten most influential non- as the president of the Kansas City Jewish Museum profit leaders in Phoenix.

Through its research. University (Canada). advocacy. In the process. and online systems development designed to benefit the cultural community. Radich served as the executive Corporation and works with private and civic clients on director of the Missouri Arts Council for eight years. Francis Xavier Kennedy School of Government. tions issues. and communica- There he led the successful effort to create a state cul. and improve the quality of public sector decision-making. He has also held visiting positions Kris Tucker has is the executive director of the at Erasmus University (The Netherlands). tax policy. the ter’s degree in public policy from Harvard University’s University of Tasmania (Australia) and St. the University Washington State Arts Commission and a WESTAF of Chicago. policy development. an organization Resources Committee of the National Conference of that is building a national best practice network of com- State legislatures. 1998 to 2000 he worked with the Cabinet Planning Unit Tucker was the executive director of the Boise City Arts of the Government of Saskatchewan. and public funding of the arts (especially the has received a number of awards for his professional and use of earmarked taxes for the arts). the University of Regina (Canada). Rushton held positions at Georgia State magazines. support the growth of arts and culture. Radich holds a leadership. Thornburgh holds a bachelor’s degree in University. and leadership PEL helped develop more Oregon. Before taking the position in Washington state. tourism and historic preservation. Radich was appointed by Denver’s in improving state and local government and creating Mayor Federico Peña to chair the Denver Commission a more competitive Pennsylvania. While working civic organization that supports private sector leadership for the Conference. where political science from Haverford College and a mas- he also served as dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts. Prior to joining Indiana University New York Times. In the field of cultural policy he has published articles on copyright. He is co-editor of Commission from 1993-1999. He holds doctorate from the Graduate School competitive tax policy. other legal rights of artists. Wall Street Journal. Thornburgh 108 with state legislators from across the country to develop is also the former executive director of the Pennsylvania state-level legislation and policy concerned with the Economy League. contributing articles to magazines and newspapers and Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. Preceding his work in Missouri. organizations’ programs and special initiatives. freedom of expres.0 million. He and Public Finance and Management. The Economy League is a business-led arts. PEL became one of the nation’s leading bachelor’s degree in physical anthropology and a mas. and Fortune in 2006. Under Thornburgh’s on Cultural Affairs. the city’s arts agency. both from the University of munications. He is the former president and CEO senior project manager for the Arts Tourism and Cultural of the Alliance for Regional Stewardship. Thornburgh has extensive experience in the areas of sion. As senior project manager. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS providing leadership to the thirteen-state regional arts rial boards of the International Journal of Cultural Policy. and the use of economic analy. he worked munity leaders working at the regional scale. He is a frequent commentator on public projects include the relationship between the arts and policy and regional economic development issues and rural economic growth. research interests are in cultural policy. com- ter’s degree in art education. strategic planning. Michael Rushton is an associate professor and direc. Indiana University. His grew the organization’s revenues to over $2. and Freiburg University (Germany). improve the quality of the regional of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado at Denver. has been quoted in several Philadelphia newspapers. From trustee. non-profit organizations. the sis in arts advocacy. the organization quadrupled its project tor of Arts Administration Programs in the School of income. workforce. He earned his oversees WESTAF’s work in the areas of research. His current research civic leadership. regional “think and do tanks”. In addition to her work in the Journal of Cultural Economics. Radich was the Philadelphia area. He is currently active in the investigation tural trust fund supported by a stream of dedicated state of the development of a regional cultural fund in the funding. Washington | February 2008 . the role of non-profits regional economic development and civic leadership and in the arts. Prior to accepting his David Thornburgh is a senior advisor with Econsult position at WESTAF. and the highest level ever. and is on the edito- the public arts. Tucker was formerly a freelance writer. Inc. doubled its corporate leadership support and Public and Environmental Affairs. doctorate from the University of British Columbia.

109 Seminar Proceedings | Seattle. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL TAX DISTRICTS publishing books. Washington | February 2008 . She holds a bachelor’s degree from Oregon State University and a master’s degree in whole systems design from Antioch University in Seattle.

Louis Office Assistant Mike Sweney Arts in Public Places Project Manager Alice Taylor Art in Public Places Program Manager Mayumi Tsutakawa Grants to Organizations Program Manager Mike Yonker Fiscal Analyst .WESTAF Staff WSAC Staff Anthony Radich Kris Tucker Executive Director Executive Director Erin Bassity Kurt Beidler Director of Marketing and Communications Information Technology Specialist Rachel Cain Bitsy Bidwell Technology Associate Community Arts Development Program Manager Shannon Daut Adam Fah Deputy Director Conservation Technician Adrianne Devereux Mark Gerth Operations Manager Communications Manager Chris DiBartolo Janae Huber Associate Director. Technology Collections Manager Seyan Lucero Lisa Jaret Senior Project Manager Arts in Education Program Manager Paul Nguyen Esther Luttikhuizen Technology Associate Art in Public Places Project Manager Sylvain Billere Lou MacMillan Associate Director. Finance and Administration Deputy Director Laurel Sherman Leslie Pope Project Coordinator Executive Assistant Jennifer Toews Christel Ratliff Information Specialist Administrative Assistant (GO & AIE) Lara Turner Deane Shellman Manager for ZAPPlication™ Administrative Assistant (AIPP) Raquel Vasquez Willie Smyth Manager of Client Services Folk Arts Program Manager Jessica St.