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In St. Joe, MI, the City cuts funding for events, but not all of them

Here is an excellent article from in South Bend about the civic funding of events in St. Joe, MI. City residents were polled as to where they wanted their tax dollars to go, getting the nod:

Krasl Art Fair, the Blossomtime Parade and the 4th of July fireworks

Losing: Venetian Festival and Labor Day fireworks

Why am I writing about this here? This article explores the importance of the economic impact of festivals on the local populace, something that is of interest to all of us.

"About 63 percent of residents and businesses said Venetian did not have a positive impact on the community. 68 percent of residents and 73 percent of businesses said the city should no longer support it.

Several businesses in the past have complained Venetian's vendors often take business away or the congestion forces regulars to shop elsewhere.

"Certainly a part of that could be all of the vendors coming in here from all over Michigan and Indiana and usurping some of the customers that they normally would see," said Walsh.

After hearing the results, the commission voted to end providing free public services to Venetian, saving about $23,000."

Haven't we all heard these arguments about art fairs in different communities? Are we surprised that the Krasl Art Fair escaped the cuts? Hardly.

What do you think? As an artist don't you see both sides of this equation?


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