San Antonio Cultural Insitutions Vie For the Pie at the 2012-2017 Bond Issue Table

by Bill Davenport December 11, 2011

The San Antonio Museum of Art’s new director, Katy Luber, has been lobbying for the new climate control system the museum needs to stay accredited. Blue Star Art Center board chairman Edward Valdespino called out supporters to a public hearing on December 8 to support building Blue Star a new building. Committees met last week to recommend projects for funding under the City of San Antonio’s largest-ever bond issue, set to be voted on in May.

The committee recommendations are out: included among them are $4 million for the Witte museum, $1 million for SAMA, $1.8 million for the Gualdalupe Cultural Arts Center, and $610,000 for public art, 1% of the $61 million total proposed for the Facilities/Community Initiatives segment of the proposals.

The 2012-2017 bond issue, which (if approved) will raise about $596 million for various city projects. Said District 1 Councilman Diego Bernal, who went on record as in favor of SAMA’s request, “There is this sort of mentality that the bond is everybody’s ATM.” Mayor Julián Castro emphasized the bond’s “meat and potatoes” street and drainage projects, which are the bulk of the proposal, but which are not without artistic impact: the mandated percent-for-art on the whole package amounts to a whopping $59 million!

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