Last night at the Youngstown meeting, Mayor McGinn said the recent defunding of Arts Corps was an "unintended consequence" of changes in implementing the Education and Families Levy, West Seattle Blog reports:
Arts Corps executive director Elizabeth Whitford said that process required agencies to “show (they) have access to attendance and academic data … Something went wrong in that process and there needs to be a public acknowledgment of that.” The 2004 Families and Education Levy, Whitford said, supported Arts Corps classes, including some taken by the Vicious Puppies Crew breakdancers whose performance had preceded the mayor’s appearance. “African-American and Latino youth re half as likely to have an arts education as their white peers,” she said. “(The levy) has worsened that.”
In the end, after program participants past and present spoke, the mayor said “there is more than one pot of money in city government” for programs like the ones Arts Corps offers, so he is “making a commitment” for his office to find something to help ensure the 800 participants don’t go unserved.
Says Whitford in an email this morning, "That's obviously a relief for us and the 800 Arts Corps students impacted. That said, it is not a structural or systemic solution, so it leaves our fellow arts education and youth development organizations still in the cold, as well as questions around future implementation. I said as much in my response, and I'm very interested in continuing to bring light to the larger issues at hand, as well as to stand in support of any other key actions/messages on behalf of high quality organizations providing key supports for youth and their success in school that were unwisely cut out of this family and education levy."