Ann Arbor is considered by many to be one of the most well-known cultural hubs in Michigan. And while Michigan football games may attract many of the city’s tourists, the art scene is a major part of what distinguishes Ann Arbor. To maintain this vibrant art scene, residents pay taxes. A proposed millage would replace the current Percent for Art program. Voters should support this new proposed millage as it promises to bring concerts and events to Ann Arbor that will make the city even more attractive to tourists, simultaneously giving residents a vibrant city in which to live and work.
A ballot proposal that would change the way Ann Arbor public art is funded was announced Thursday night. City Councilmember Christopher Taylor (D–Ward 3) is the primary sponsor of this proposal. According to Taylor, this art millage would cost the average household $10.97 a year. The current Percent for Art program takes away more than $2 million from various city funds and is extremely limiting. The proposed millage would be more flexible and allow for temporary installments, concerts and events.
Ann Arbor is thriving throughout the economic downturn compared to other cities in Michigan. This can be attributed, in part, to the individuality of the city. Ann Arbor’s local government has the responsibility to serve its citizens beyond their basic rights and maintain an arts scene that separates it from other cities, thus encouraging tourism. This millage promises to do so, and voters should support it.