Fancy fundraising for city art unwise
John Burns (Jul 21) is right to question our attitude to the costs of flash civic amenities. He is right to point out that Christchurch is not a wealthy city, though it has some wealthy families. They are getting their names inscribed prominently. For most of us, the sums being tossed around by politicians and leaders of the art community are beyond our resources and desires.
The Christchurch Art Gallery, having been encouraged by the crowd fundraising for the bull, now seeks $1 million for a Ron Muerk sculpture and crows that four generous donors have taken them a long way to that target. Such spending by the rates-financed gallery simply takes away a livelihood from more modest local artists and avoids the need to live within a budget. It is swank.
Meanwhile, the Roman Catholic Church is encouraging local musicians who are holding weekly concerts at the pro-cathedral with the takings going to the CBS rebuild fund. The bishops of Christchurch understood that fundraising for status buildings must be modest and secondary to fundraising for the mission. There is feeling for the people in that attitude. Corallyn Newman Cashmere