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What you said about what we said last week

We were shocked to learn how sanguine readers were about the death of Artisphere, per the comments in response to last week’s cover by Erin Devine. Sharon wrote: “Setting aside the Smithsonian for a second and its 18 museums and half a dozen research and smaller exhibition spaces all within a 30 minute drive of the Artishphere that the US taxpayer spends 1 billion a year subsidizing (and I am glad they do)… The DC region is still completely chock full of private and public galleries, stages, a dozen or so local University artistic and cultural facilities, and many other publicly funded facilities paid for by other local municipalities (District, Montgomery County, Fairfax County, Arlington, etc). There is zero reason to continue to fund yet another at a yearly loss, when its reputation and artistic value is marginal, and the options for artistic culture in the region abound.”

Tom M gleefully piled on: “Not sure why you should be the arbiter of how public funds should be spent. Our system has a process to determine public priorities. Those include elections and public budget setting within open meetings with testimony and information from the public. This failed that test. Frankly, i don’t think it would be wise to rely on some other system (artist commune dictatorship?) to make those decisions with us or for us.” Which got us thinking… is there are artist commune dictatorship you know of? Because that sounds like something we would probably champion in Washington City Paper.

Arts Fear

A contingency of readers rallied to art’s defense. Jon slammed some bureaucrats, and how: “Shame on the County Manager and the County Board for being so short-sighted and leaderless. Their lack of political courage to withstand the pressure to kill Artisphere is so sad and embarrassing for the County. Anyone who knows anything about the arts knows that government support is needed for the arts to flourish. That was true in Da Vinci’s day, Bach’s day, Beethoven’s day and today…. Guess they just want us to be a quiet suburb of DC once again…”

But then again, L Larson pointed out, does Arlington really care if it loses a cutting-edge arts facility? “Artisphere should have closed because Arlington (and DC in general) doesn’t deserve it. I am a longtime area resident and kept a close eye on Artisphere, watching as they brought in work by artists like Miranda July, Andy Warhol, Frank Day and others…few people cared enough to come and visit, preferring to complain on websites like this one. I hate to say it, but any investment of time and money in the arts and culture here is a waste…we simply aren’t worth it…. Can you imagine something like Anish Kapoor’s public installation in Chicago (the giant mirror bean) here? Even Philadephia’s LOVE sculpture seems like a major stretch. Small galleries are closing faster than new ones are opening and the city’s best artists are leaving for Baltimore, New York and Philadelphia.”

Sharon poppy tom agreed and made a modest proposal: “You know what? You get nothing. Let’s just disconnect the bridges from DC to VA and you fucktards can stay there. I’ve had it with you.” You hear that, District exurbanites? We’re taking away your cherry blossoms, your stroller access to the National Mall, and your opportunity to line up for cupcakes!

Department of Corrections

Last week’s Loose Lips column misstated the cost of a recount based on erroneous information provided by the D.C. Board of Elections. It’s $50 per precinct, not $50 for an entire ward recount.