Friday, December 7, 2007

Letter to the editor- On the Fonz

So, there's this Bronze Fonz thing going down here in Milwaukee. Some corporate tourism organization is doing some corporate tourism crap and calling it art. Well and good, to be expected, right? Well, the unexpected thing is, our allies in the arts community are taking a solid stand against it. This creates an opportunity for the creative class to flex our muscles and see if we can make the squares respect us. Let's do it!

You can read about it here:

I wrote a letter to the editor of the journal sentinal and to the members of Visit Milwaukee (the org responsible). You should too:,,

If you want to participate in our less orthodox methods of doing somethign about this, you should know how to contact me.

Here's my letter:

Being an active member of the art community in a city like Milwaukee is challenging. I've watched friends and associates leave town for opportunities elsewhere, and those of us who remain, do so with a doubting feeling that, a few years down the road when we finally give up on this place, we're going to regret staying and fighting for it as long as we did. This struggle is made harder when organizations like Visit Milwaukee come to the conclusion that investing in a bronze statue of an old TV icon for tourism is more promising than investing in small grants for local artists or arts organizations.

People keep telling me that a vibrant street-level culture is key to economic growth, yet the supposed professionals prefer cheap, shallow, tourist kitsch, even when important members of the arts community threaten to go on strike and skip town over it. One way or another, we're going to prove these professionals wrong.

Rex Winsome
Co-Founder of Insurgent Theatre

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