While I was out delivering a major metropolitan daily to parts of the Lynnhurst neighborhood this morning, I heard a story that included a discussion of mortgage rates – I think. The reporter used something he called the Anderson Report, which was a survey of mortgage rates. I often hear reports on gas prices quoting the Lundberg Report that surveys gas prices nationwide.

I decided right there, in front of 4936 & 4940 Newton to start the Riese Report, a survey of public art across the nation. I'm thinking of starting with questioning builders and developers about their expenditures on art for their projects. I'm also considering using public art resources like Forecast here in the Twin Cities to gather information.

What is public art?
I make and circulate porcelain money – coins with values incised on each side. A coin may have "work" on one side "play" on the other. ( You can view these coins and my functional pottery at: http://www.mnartists.org/Erik_Riese) I think of this attempt to redirect our value system as public art. Over 28,000 pieces of coin are now in circulation. My coins have reached every corner of the earth, below the ocean surface and into low earth orbit. I don't solicit funding for my project although my customers have paid me for coin. The coins have become a new value that stimulate trades, inspire conversation and debate & even changed the course of peoples' lives.
Are they public art?
Does public art have to be for everyone. Can a piece in a public place become a private monument? What about architecture? Is good design public art?

When the City Council's Ways & Means Committee votes to remove $200,000 from one line "Public Art" and put it into another "Public Works" does this reduce the arts in Minneapolis? Does the city have a role to play in developing and supporting art or arts organizations?

While I've been a supporter of the Mayor, I haven't been so impressed with the his arts work. It seems to me to be a cronies' game. If you are "in" you are asked to participate, if you are "out" your involvement is not only unwanted, it's actively thwarted.

What does the Mayor's budget do for arts in the city? Why should we contact our CouncilMembers on this issue?


On Dec 6, 2005, at 8:21 AM, Connie Beckers wrote:

Talking Points: Support the Mayor’s proposed 2% for public art, as this is consistent with the strategies outlined in the approved cultural plan. The proposed strategy of moving half of the public art budget into Public Works, would be contrary to the Cultural Plan and current public art policy and would be an inefficient way to develop and maintain public art projects.

In cooperation,

Erik Riese
Seward US@:
A great place to live, work, learn, create and play.
Santa Erik available for holiday parties, events and happenings.
(612) 724-3217
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