King County Is Not Planning To Dissolve 4Culture, They Just Want to Control It


Something stinks here.
I wouldnt worry too much. If history has any predictive measurability to future possibilities, then Seattle has a lot bigger problems coming down the pike than an overblown, un-fundable arts programs that will need to be burned and buried because artists are being accused by #metoo-ers. “Obey The Pink Hat”!…
Considering 4Culture has some like a total of nearly $60 in total funds, having a little more oversight by elected representatives doesn't seem like a bad thing.
* "nearly $60 million"
As I expect to get a $1,000 increase in my property tax in 2018 in King County I feel I've been squeezed enough as far as mandatory support of the arts goes.
Jim Kelly, who has been the ED of 4Culture for 25 years, not to make a point of it, but I have to ask what was his salary last year?
There are so many State, County and City programs funded over the years and forgotten yet still get tax payer money with no accountability or showing they have completed their goals. Free money is great! Mission accomplished or not, or impossible, forever on the taxpayer payroll.
A little more accountability and oversight of $10+ million a year in taxpayer funds sounds like a good idea. Now if they could just get rid of the ridiculous "1% For Art" requirement for capital projects, I'd be really happy. Sewage treatment plants don't need to be beautiful, they just need to be functional.
As a public development authority 4Culture is subject to plenty of King County Council review and oversight already. The funding comes mainly from hotel and motel taxes, not property taxes. This is indeed an alarming move by the council to take more control over 4Culture. Their independence is critical...the move by the KCC sets in motion what could easily lead to political control....i.e. what the USSR did by only funding and promoting artists whose goals were aligned with the communist party. Think about it.……
The same five garbage arts programs have just been sucking money out of this thing for a decade now. Maybe some oversight will keep those insider hacks from using it like a debit card. You can be sure if you see the 4Culture logo on a program you're about to see something terrible financed via the good old boys network. 4Corruption.
Ah well if all our resident philistines think this legislation is a good idea it must be. Although it kind of seems like none of them actually read the article as none of them appear to understand that there is no proposal to cut funding.

The panic over this might be a bit overblown but I'm inclined to agree with Jeanne Kohl-Welles: "I'm not certain what the problems are that need to be fixed here". Motives seem murky. I would say it is never a good thing when public arts or science organizations have their independence reduced. Some serious pressure should be brought on the co-sponsors to back off.

The nerve of it all — our government wanting some portion of control just because mumble mumble ten million mumble maybe thirteen million dollars mumble artists of the world join the #RESISTANCE!
"If you remove immigrants, African-Americans and queers from American culture- all you have left is "Lets Make A Deal."
-updated from a classic line by Fran Lebowitz. Thanks Sarah Schulman.
I would add too...the artists. Some of the comments above are EXACTLY why the arts needs independence. You "Let's Make A Deal" folks wouldn't know art if it bit you in your well-padded ass. What we need at this fascistic themed moment is more creative freedom, not less. Look at NYC, arguably the greatest city in this country. Why? Because of the brilliance of its arts.
& finally, "We looked at 14 public agencies similar to 4Culture located in King and Pierce Counties, to see if the same oversight and accountability is being required of them. If this ordinance is passed, 4Culture will be the only one where its governing authority, in this case the King County Council, has direct political veto power over the Executive Director, can remove professional staff, can veto program or capital budgets and can appoint Board Directors by elective district."

This proposal is wrong, unfair and needs to be withdrawn as there is no justification for it.
"If you remove the Indigenous, immigrants, African-Americans and queers from American culture- all you have left is "Lets Make A Deal."
-updated from a classic line by Fran Lebowitz. Thanks Sarah Schulman.
and I paraphrase: "money money money....blah blah...I didn't understand so it must be trash blah blah...did not praise who I want praised ermm...gave money to people I do not like or trust blah blah..."

In fact 4Culture funds have supported much excellent and extraordinary art & culture in the Seattle area. Do your research.

Some of you are afflicted by knowing the cost of everything and the value of nothing.
Arrowsmith, despite your characterization, I am certainly willing to debate & consider whether each portion of this ordinance is appropriate (eg: firing the executive director), and I agree it’s silly to use “cost in dollars” as a measure of art’s value or merit.

The reason to talk about broadly about budgets and dollars is because it’s really hard to understand a document like this if you don’t know what relationship each of these organizations has with King County (or wherever they’re located):…

Maybe I’m ignorant, but I wouldn’t have guessed that 4Culture has much in common with the Bellevue Convention Center Authority. By your analogy, wouldn’t it be more appropriate to see how the proposed governance of 4Culture compares to those in NYC and the world’s great centers of art?
The current arrangement works just fine. Even Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles agrees. Mr. Upthegrove does not have a justifiable and ethical reason to propose so many drastic changes, that would increase HIS power. His intentions are far from clear. We are suffering right now from multiple threats to our democracy and social compact. Arts and culture are precious, vital and need to be free of political influence. This proposal is unjust and suspect. No to this ridiculous power grab from Mr. Upthegrove.
For further information, see the link above, and read past the first public agency listed. & again, do your research into how 4Culture has added to our city and community. They are a treasure and must be left alone to succeed as they have been for years. Can we have anything which benefits people? Or is this some strange lockstep with the current mis-administration, to destroy the common good every single day? No.
@20 Read past the first agency, you say? Great! I quickly googled the second agency (Burke-Gilman Place Public Development Authority) and found that it has expenses of about $300,000 annually. It’s reasonable that 4Culture would have greater oversight requirements than an organization one-thirtieth its size.…
FInal comment to you who are trying too hard for some obscure reason. This is not taxpayer money. It is hotel tax funding. Business tax. The powerful will always seek to control freedom of expression. 4Culture evens the playing field and gives us positive creative culture and art. It is just to provide, at no government cost, an organization that ensures a voice for all of us. Since Eyman created his racket the wailing of "my taxes" has become the song of the loons. Investigate where Eyman's finances go. There is really so much you could concern yourself with. I am much more concerned with the $100. million of OUR tax dollars, and climbing, spent so PS can golf and Melania can have marital spats in Miami. Not to mention the rest of the clan and all that goes on beneath the surface. What foolishness. 4Culture is not our problem right now. Just because you are verbose doesn't to mean you control this situation. I speak on behalf of many citizens. This is unjust, overreaching and indefensible. 4Culture's track record is one of success and equity. Some just have trouble with that.
@22 You really needlessly complicate your position by arguing that revenue collected by taxation is not taxpayer money. It really makes it easy to dispense with the remainder of your comments.
The corruption and daily coup taking place in this country should occupy your thoughts. Leave the arts alone. It is one bright spot in this dismal thrashing of a dying patriarchal order. The tone of these male commentators fits right in, as they seem motivated by the desire to control what they cannot understand. Patriarchy is dying and it is long overdue. Good riddance.
The actual corruption and lying and graft of this administration and old boys network may take this entire country down with it. These people are worried about artists? The truth tellers?
Shorter @25, 26: “Donald Trump exists, therefore, shut the fuck up you philistines.”

What makes this discussion so interesting, Arrowsmith, is your seeming desperation to shut it down.
C.D.0.7 -- Nice cherry-picking. That list of PDAs include several that have a lot in common with 4Culture, such as Historic Seattle Preservation and Development Authority, Museum Development Authority of Seattle, Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority, Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority, and others. (In case you didn't read the original article very closely, 4Culture also funds heritage and historic preservation.)

The whole point of a civic entity becoming a PDA is to free it and protect it from exactly the kind of 'oversight' being proposed -- 'oversight' that gives political actors the power to reject funding that isn't to their liking. Upthegrove's arguments (like that 4Culture's funding is increasing by $13 million -- it isn't) are specious -- publicly elected politicians are far from neutral. The argument that 'oversight' somehow protects the use of public funds, rather than giving councilmembers the power to influence and outright reject the decisions of a community-driven panel process and an autonomous board of directors (which has three members from the King County Council to begin with) and steer those funds where the councilmembers want it to go...well, that's not a very convincing argument.