City officials must be nervous about rumors of the impending demise of the Spokane Arts Commission. A joint press release went out this afternoon from Mayor David Condon and City Council President Ben Stuckart reaffirming city support for the department.
But Stuckart said in a meeting earlier this month that he anticipated dramatic cuts to the commission’s budget.
“I'm fully expecting that when the budget comes out that the arts department will be cut back in about half,” Stuckart said in that meeting.
That bit didn’t make it into the city’s press release.
Last year, the city eliminated its Youth Department. While the Arts Commission was spared, it endured budget cuts and was put under the auspices of another department. Among other things, the commission oversees the city's gallery, works on projects like the sculpture walk by Kendall Yards, administers classes for artists, and serves as a link for artists, musicians and patrons.
Condon and Stuckart are working to find alternative ways to fund the commission, according to City Arts Commissioner Karen Mobley.
But Mobley believes the elimination of the department is a distinct possibility.
“It is true that in the most recent iteration of the city budget there is a high probability that I will be laid off from the city," she told The Inlander on Friday.
But on the whole, Mobley is optimistic that Condon will find a solution.
Says Mobley: “My sense is the administration wants to get it resolved sooner rather than later.”
Nothing to do for Memorial Day weekend? Read some City Hall Eyeball!