It’s a good thing that many Portlanders wax grandiloquent at the drop of a beret about how precious art is and how much value it creates and how much it’s worth to them and how it should be supported by the government and even special taxes if needed.
Because according to a story in today’s Oregonian, Stumptown citizens are getting ready to watch their already significant subsidy for Portland Center Stage’s goliath Armory building tick up yet another $2 million in the form of additional debt forgiveness from the PDC. That’s on top of the $2 million the PDC forgave back in June. Who knows what the net number to date is of total public resources spent on the ill-conceived Titanic project. But it’s obviously north of $4 million.
There’s a much, much bigger story here that someone needs to write, one that goes all the way back to Vera Katz, and with luck real journalists are working on it. In a nutshell, the fantasy of what art is worth, and the soft spot developers have for empire building and “citadels”, as Mike Daisey calls them, are grinding across the reef of financial reality. And if people won’t pay what it costs in the form of buying tickets, who picks up the difference? Apparently the taxpayers.
Continue reading “If you build it and spend way too much, they’ll come and we’ll still lose millions – sound good? | PDC (and thus you, my faire citizen) prepares to up ante on Portland Center Stage Armory debt forgiveness to $4 million”