A Few More Thoughts About Golden’s Public Art Program

I really, really appreciate the widespread and energetic interest in this conversation about Golden's public art program.  I strongly support all of our arts and cultural programs, and think they are a vital part of what makes Golden the amazing community that it is.  The number of folks that have written emails and posted here on the blog in support of our art program is a testament to how important it is to Golden and how much support it enjoys.

This all started with my asking about how the decisions about public art in Golden are made now and are there ways to do it better.  I was aiming for a thoughtful, respectful conversation among City Councilors, the Civic Foundation, and others in the community, at the end of which we'd either decide to keep doing exactly the same thing we are doing now, make a few small changes, or do something entirely different.  I think that part of my job on Council is to ask questions about how we do things and how we might do them better.  Sometimes the answer is simple:  what we are doing right now works great.  Sometimes there are ways to make bad things good and good things better. 

Some folks thought that simply by asking these questions and offering a proposal about how we might improve on our art program that I was attacking the program.  I wasn't.  I was asking if we could take something good and make it better.

Some folks thought I was attacking or criticizing the Civic Foundation.  I wasn't.  I deeply respect and value their considerable contributions to our community, and despite the hoopla I've been having really good conversations with the Civic Foundation board about these questions.

Some folks thought I was criticizing the art we have now around Golden.  I wasn't.  As I've said before, in my view the Civic Foundation and others have done a tremendous job creating our public art program.

Some folks also thought I was suggesting the City Council take control of the art program.  I wasn't.  I think that having City Council make decisions about art is a terrible idea and wouldn't support it.  My suggestion was that we create a citizen advisory board – that has public meetings (that anyone can attend), that accepts public comment, and that makes its decisions in public – to make those decisions.  That may not be a good way to do it, but it's very different than taking control of the program.  Councilor Weaver did seem to support that City Council get to make decisions about our art but I don't share her view.

All that said, I have heard loud and clear that lots of folks like the way we do it now, and I will gladly respect that.  I've also heard a ton of support for installing Checkmate, and as I told the Civic Foundation board several days ago, I will gladly support installing that as well.


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