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Art Review

Power To The People — And The Arts — In 2019

Curt Clonts

Do you feel like you got kicked around in 2018? I know I do. The political climate in the country is at an all-time low. I think people feel down. The “shock” volume has been on 10 for so long, over so many issues, that I think we, as a society, have gone tone deaf. Things just seem meaner.

I want to wish you a fresher new year. I wish you a 2019 that allows you to know you are doing more than surviving. I want you to really feel in charge in 2019. I am a believer in the old adage “What doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger.”

I have witnessed a year where I feel local politicians have put the arts, artists, and supporters of the arts behind the 8 ball.

I now feel that 2019 should be the year that we, as an art community, begin to step away from any need for city government attention. Artists should stop seeking help from city government and find ways to do things through the private sector in 2019 and subsequent years. We need to rescue the arts away from a city government that lacks care and sure commitment to our local culture. We need to break free of “The Man” and reclaim our artistic freedom.

Does this mean that CityArts Gallery Space bites the dust? Probably. Realistically, the City deems it a problem. And sustaining an institution that the City itself began in order to boost culture in Wichita seems a lost cause without adequate City dollars to back it. So let’s find ways to start our own brand of culture without the city government.

And hey, I’m not cutting and running from a fight, I just want to attack in a different direction.

Power to the people and the arts in 2019.