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 Post subject: Court Decision on Legality of Gov't Revoking Arts Fundi
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2001 5:27 am 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
From the New York Times:<P><B>Houston Revoked Arts Grant Illegally, Judge Rules</B><P><BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>"Cities, not the courts, raise the taxes to fund services, and cities should make the decisions concerning how much, if any, of the public funds will be spent to support art," wrote Judge Orlando L. Garcia of Federal District Court in his 85-page opinion. "Once a governing body chooses to fund art, however, the Constitution requires that it be funded in a viewpoint-neutral manner, that is, without discriminating among recipients on the basis of their ideology."<P>The case in San Antonio is similar to the constitutional fight involving the "Sensation" exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in 1999. Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani sought to revoke city financing and evict the Brooklyn Museum because the exhibit included a painting of the Virgin Mary adorned with elephant dung. Mr. Giuliani eventually settled out of court after a federal judge ruled that his actions violated the First Amendment.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><BR><A HREF="http://www.nytimes.com/2001/05/16/national/16ARTS.html" TARGET=_blank><B>MORE...</B></A><P><BR>(if anyone feels this belongs with another thread - please feel free to move it)<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Court Decision on Legality of Gov't Revoking Arts Fundi
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2001 11:13 am 
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It surprises me that there have been no comments on this most interesting court ruling. It certainly speaks to one of the paramount issues and questions in public arts funding in the United States.<P>If this ruling is not overturned or otherwise amended in an appeal - then it is certainly a landmark decision.


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 Post subject: Re: Court Decision on Legality of Gov't Revoking Arts Fundi
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2001 11:19 am 
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Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
Small correction: The case involved San Antonio, not Houston.<p>[This message has been edited by salzberg (edited May 17, 2001).]

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 Post subject: Re: Court Decision on Legality of Gov't Revoking Arts Fundi
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2001 5:04 pm 
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Basheva, perhaps this is one of those idealogically-based discussions that gentle people hate to get involved in.<P>My eye brows were raised however by the fact that it took the judge's opinion took 85 pages. This shows how complicated this thing can be. Any comments on this legal detail, Leigh and Shag?


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 Post subject: Re: Court Decision on Legality of Gov't Revoking Arts Fundi
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2001 6:07 pm 
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Well, I suppose I am not one of those "gentle" people - LOL.<P>However, one doesn't have to state whether one agrees or disagrees with the ruling, that is probably moot anyway, but it could be discussed what impact this ruling will have.<P>That surely can be discussed in a civilized manner.<P>I wonder how this will affect the guidelines that are used to allocate funds?


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 Post subject: Re: Court Decision on Legality of Gov't Revoking Arts Fundi
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2001 6:31 pm 
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Basheva, I didn't mean to imply you weren't gentle. On the contrary, you and Leonard are wonderful hosts, both very gentle. Image


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 Post subject: Re: Court Decision on Legality of Gov't Revoking Arts Fundi
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2001 10:59 pm 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
I am delighted to read about the ruling. I remember an essay by Kurt Vonnegut Jnr. on a related issue. Vonnegut is critical in many ways about the USA, but one aspect he is proud of is freedom of speech. He has described how various school boards would, from time to time, ban his books (not a good feature of the US scene) and he would go to court, knowing that he would always win. This case does not seem any change from that interpretation of the Constitution. This is a strong aspect of the 'American Way' it seems to me. On a related issue, your freedom of information laws are an example to all, particularly the over-secretive UK.<P>London's subsidised Natonal Film Theatre hosts a Lesbian and Gay Film Festival each year and this seems entirely appropriate to me and I've seen some interestng movies there. Arts fundng has to be based on arts based criteria and key artists and arts organisations have always engaged in social issues.<P>Bravo Judge Garcia! <P><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited May 18, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Court Decision on Legality of Gov't Revoking Arts Fundi
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2001 3:25 am 
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Stuart, I wish some of our politicians understood America as well as you do.

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 Post subject: Re: Court Decision on Legality of Gov't Revoking Arts Fundi
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2001 9:56 am 
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Image <P>Chris Ofili<P><BR>Chris Ofili's work doesn't do much for me, but my fine art interests don't go much beyond 1940. However, his name seems to come up so much when this topic is discussed I thought it might be useful to have some source material. If you want to know more about this Turner (the leading UK contemporary art prize) winning artist, who is a significant figure on the UK scene, then this site will give you some basic details.<P> <A HREF="http://www.cfa-berlin.de/lay/ofili/ofili.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.cfa-berlin.de/lay/ofili/ofili.html</A> <P>And here's a sympathetic interview (you'll need to shift over to the right).<P> <A HREF="http://www.blackpresence.co.uk/html/Ofili.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://www.blackpresence.co.uk/html/Ofili.htm</A> <p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited May 18, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Court Decision on Legality of Gov't Revoking Arts Fundi
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2001 5:03 pm 
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Hi Azlan:<P>Judicial rulings can either be incredibly brief or extremely long (note Bush v. Gore). 85 pages is indeed very long, some of the reasons might be that although the issue seems like a single one from the outside, Justice Garcia may have been dealing with several related points that all needed to be addressed. Much of it could also be his interpretation and comments on the briefs submitted by all parties.<P>Then there is also the fact that lawyers and judges are verbose!<p>[This message has been edited by Leigh Witchel (edited May 18, 2001).]


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