the Midtown TIF which was quickly turned on its head by city and developers as they, not surprisingly, sought to have the property taxes diverted to fund development in wealthy Broad Ripple instead of the poorer areas of the TIF district.
This time Barth pens a letter to the Indianapolis Star suggesting that taxpayers foot the bill for more public art in Indianapolis:
Granted the murals are interesting and often well done. But most of the other public art in this city is atrocious. We have the "Dancing Ann" video display on Mass Avenue which I frankly thought was a walk sign when I first saw it. Then I remember the display kept for a long time at the City-County Building that consisted of a large canvas with attached rubber strips (apparently cut from tires) that looked like hair. In the middle of the rubber hair canvas there was a hole. Frankly it looked like a female body part...except for the hole being square.
There were a lot of ways Indianapolis showed what kind of city it is when thousands of people came to enjoy Super Bowl XLVI, from handwritten welcome notes from grade school students placed in every hotel room to the blue-and-white scarves knit for volunteers who helped keep things running smoothly. But there was something else more permanent and pleasing for all of us — and future visitors — to enjoy. Super Bowl XLVI included “46 for XLVI,” an impressive citywide mural program...
Councilor John Barth
The success of “46 for XLVI” shows that our city is ready to embrace public art as a way to celebrate who we are. That is why I am introducing a proposal to the City-County Council called “percent for art.” The aim of the proposal is to identify a dedicated funding source (1 percent of the city’s investment in a capital project) that can be tapped to continue what the mural project began — supporting creative ways to tell our story. Every Indianapolis neighborhood has a story to tell and a history to celebrate. Imagine if, over time, neighborhoods used the program to express their own unique identity — and we all took the time to seek out the new neighborhood murals, statues, sculptures and more. We could spend time in neighborhoods where we might never have gone, and meet people we might never have met.
This program will not only be good for neighborhoods, it makes economic sense, too. We already know that the arts in Indianapolis have an annual economic impact of $384 million, employ 13,310 residents, and return $42 million each year in the form of taxes. This program will only help those numbers grow, especially as the program rolls out and, across years, begins to attract tourists.
Councilor Barth has proven during his time in office that he does not care one bit about the taxpayers' money. While I was not not a fan of SB 621, the one good thing about the bill is that we don't have to deal with a second term for John Barth.