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Ratepayer Funded Art (with poll)

In light of Auckland Council’s decision to spend $200,000 on a sculpture many are saying in symbolic of the treatment of its ratepayers, I wanted to highlight how lucky we are in Wellington to have the Wellington Sculpture Trust. Why is it that Auckland Council seems to keep having problems with expensive art projects (as well as the new 'penis' art, the $1 million sculpture of state house is a good example) but in Wellington I can't think of a single controversy?
 
The Trust was formed in 1982 and is responsible for most, if not all of Wellington’s iconic art landmarks (below is a selection). I joined in early 2013 soon after the wonderful Nga Kina was revealed.

According to the Trust's website:

The Arts Advisory Panel is made up of arts professionals who assist in the selection processes. The panel currently comprises arts practitioners, the director of the City Gallery, Wellington, curators and an architect. Urban design and public safety advice is provided by the Wellington City Council’s liaison officer.

Wellington City Council plays a significant role. It provides most of our sites, helps supervise the installation of sculptures, and becomes the owner and caretaker of the sculptures on behalf of the city and the Trust after an appropriate defect liability period.

The Trust also has honorary advisers separate from its arts advisers to broaden its resources. These people have expertise in fields such as engineering, financial management and law. 

Is the Trust's model better than the a council commissioning art? From what I understand the Wellington Sculpture Trust pitches art projects in a way that matches public money with amounts contributed by private donors.

We're running a poll on whether ratepayer money should be used for art. I'm certainly interested to see whether people prefer no ratepayer funding of art, or a Wellington/trust model. Clearly Auckland's decision-making process needs improvement.

Poll: Should ratepayer money be used for art?


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