Discussions about city funding for the arts are likely to overuse words like should, must, and ought to and underuse words like do. According to those frustrated with the city’s current actions and inaction, Santa Fe should give more money to developing arts organizations, must actively foster nightlife to appeal to and maintain a young demographic, and ought to focus more resources on easing the financial burdens of struggling artists. The other side says the city should incentivize small business to develop an economy more conducive to the arts, must be fiscally cautious and limit unessential expenditures, and ought to focus its energies on other issues: education, income inequality, and crime.
In late January, City Councilor Rebecca Wurzburger proposed a resolution to establish a Nighttime Economy Task Force as well as a pilot program to award up to $5,000 to projects aimed at “invigorating the nighttime economy.” Following a series of committee reviews, the proposal is slated for a Feb. 26 City Council vote. Though indirectly targeted at the arts, as related to nightlife, this is the most recent of the “shoulds” added to the conversation — and, coming in the form of a sponsored City Council resolution, it is perhaps the most likely “should” to join that second, smaller category of things the city actually does.