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individual artist task force update

Post #134 • October 23, 2003, 9:44 AM

From the euphonically named Florida Department of State Division of Cultural Affairs Informational Memo, just received:

The Services to Individual Artists Subcommittee is conducting a needs assessment survey of Florida’s individual artists. If you haven’t received information regarding the survey, visit our website at www.Florida-Arts.org. We ask that you share the information with any artist friends you may have. We are interested in getting input from as many Florida artists as possible!

Here’s some input: In the future, refrain from scrapping successful, decades-old grant programs until you have some kind of freaking idea what you’re going to replace them with. Judas priest, these people must have cat food for brains.

For those of you just tuning in, the Florida Individual Artist Fellowship program used to identify individual artists making significant contributions in the state, and give them five grand. Good idea. Simple, to the point, and useful. Well-implemented, too; choices were progressive without being trendy. But for some reason the state pushed back the application deadline from February to April, then canned the program for this year (and forevermore, for all we know). It then created the aforementioned subcommittee “to explore how those services might be expanded beyond Fellowship Awards for a select few and be adapted to provide additional and broader opportunities for the more than 85,000 artists living in Florida ⤳ special project grants, technical support, marketing assistance, etc.” Why the entire program had to be halted for this to happen, I have no idea. Well, I have one. Cat food.

Which brings us to the above item. I challenge you to find any information whatsoever on the survey via the website. (Which, for the record, continues to look like barf.) Searching on ‘survey’ brought back this message:

CreateRecordset error ‘80041820’
Service is not running.
/query.asp, line 220

So allow me to offer my input informally. One, finding ways to expand the services were not mutually exclusive to offering them, so reinstate the program for next year, and for next year only, double the number of awards in all categories to apologize for your ineptitude. Two, locate whoever is calling the shots up there in Tally and buy them a bottle of Clue Juice. Three, survey? On the website? Where? Four, offer some proposals that would give artists an idea about where you’re going with this, which is not at all clear, and allow them to contribute alterations or entirely new suggestions. I’d recommend a discussion board. Five, instead of taking an indeterminate amount of time to work this out, have the committee post a calendar of deadlines for itself that demonstrates it intends to create something useful within our lifetimes. Report duly on its progress.

Damn.

UPDATE: I just caught the irony of the error message. Service is not running, indeed.

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