UMC In New Orleans Spent $1.1 Million On Out-Of-State Artwork, But Turned Down A Free Rodrigue Sculpture [Video]
The financial situation in Louisiana is currently not in very good shape. I'm optimistic that things will turn around, because I know somehow, we'll figure this mess out. As we see Louisiana's TOPS program, recreation and tourism threatened, WWL reports UMC in New Orleans has just spent $1.1 million dollars in artwork for the hospital, purchased from out-of-state artists. Oh yeah, the hospital was offered a free Rodrigue sculpture for the hospital, but turned it down.
State Office of Cultural Development Assistant Secretary Phil Boggan defends the state's actions, and honestly, his response makes me even angrier at this disgusting, misappropriation of our hard earned tax dollars. Boggan tells WWL "they selected artists that represented their vision for the hospital and it is my understanding, that the hospital administration is 100 percent happy and thrilled with the sculptures that had been selected."
I don't know about you, but hearing that the hospital administration is "100 percent happy and thrilled" with the art makes me feel so much better about it all. It fills me with such joy, I almost forget about the thousands of high school kids around the state and their parents who are scrambling trying to figure out how they'll go to college. It makes me so happy that I almost forget about the hundreds of park and state historical monument employees that are losing their jobs right now because Louisiana can't afford to keep things open.
The hospital was offered a free Rodrigue sculpture, but according to WWL -
Paid a Philadelphia artist $750,000 for a colorful wall hanging for the lobby" and "spent another $350,000 for a glass statue from Washington State that sits in the middle of UMC's reflecting pool.
I'm sure the communities these talented artist live in appreciate all the money we've just dropped into their local economies. It's not like we needed that money floating around in our communities, right? I mean, it's almost like Louisiana is practically swimming in money right now, right?
State Treasurer John Kennedy isn't happy about any of this either and tells WWL -
They took $1.1 million cash of taxpayer money and hired two out of state artists, turned down a free Rodrigue and they shouldn't have been spending it in the first place.
I agree that art is important, and is undeniably important in hospitals. Art is a big deal in my life, and my home. At the very least, if you absolutely just can't stand it anymore and must spend $1.1 million, AT LEAST SPEND THE MONEY IN OUR OWN STATE PEOPLE.