I applaud the generosity of the private donors towards the Arc of Dreams, kind of.

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If you squint your eyes a little bit, it kind of looks like a Trojan Horse

I will admit, I was skeptical when the organizers of this project said they would raise all the money privately (I still am a little).

The project is being funded by private donors, with a goal of $1.25 Million. Schiller says they are at $1.17 Million right now.

It’s not that I don’t think the money is here in our community, it’s just that taxpayers have been down this road before. I have pressured Sculpture Walk organizers over the years to become more independent, they have been listening. There is also the logistics of the project. Talking to engineers and others in the art world who have been around large sculpture projects before I have a couple of concerns.

1. Since the large structure does not connect in the middle, there could be issues with it’s weight when it comes to high winds and counter balance.

2. The quartzite that has to be drilled through in order to create that counter balance could become very costly.

I have put city officials on notice that if any trouble arises and we the taxpayers have to chip in, that they proceed with caution. Think Trojan horse. While this is a great gift to the city, remember since it is sitting on city property, we have a great responsibility to maintain it. Where will that money come from? The sky? It would be like your dying uncle giving you his classic Ferrari.

We took a gift from Mr. Fawick back in the early 70’s and the city has been reluctant many times to keep him around, even throwing David in a storage lot for several years because they didn’t have the money to put him back up. I would be curious what the city is budgeting each year for maintenance of such a large piece of public art?

I also take issue with this statement;

Supporters have high hopes this new, massive piece of artwork will bring more than just tourists to the downtown area.

“The new awareness will truly advance economic development, workforce development in so many ways for so many years,” said Schiller.

Um . . . how will it do that? Sure it will promote more tourism to downtown, but we already have a great tourist attraction downtown, and it’s not Minerva’s or the Statue of David (Though he is my favorite DT).

When I watch press conferences like this, I often shake my head when our city leaders make ridiculous statements like this.

But at the end of day, I do Thank You . . . kind of.



11 comments ↓

#1 LJL on 09.28.16 at 9:11 pm

How much is spent by the city on the Sculpture walk? I believe this actually brings a a good amount of tax revenue.

#2 Rufusx on 09.28.16 at 9:18 pm

There are ways to anchor the bases to the underlying quartzite that do not entail drilling huge holes.

#3 l3wis on 09.28.16 at 9:25 pm

You are right Ruf, I did think about that. I will curious to see how they work out the logistics.

#4 l3wis on 09.28.16 at 9:26 pm

LJL, you bring up a good point. Could there be a way the city could use this as a model to fund maintenance on public art? Maybe track the amount of tax revenue that is brought in by DT tourism and sales and put a percentage of that towards a maintenance budget.

#5 The Blogger Formerly Known as "Winston" on 09.28.16 at 11:08 pm

Well, as long as they plan to hire thousands of workers (artists) with good paying wages to build this arch, then i guess they could be contributing to “workforce development” with this project. But absence that, they are totally dependent upon a visiting executive, staying at the Hilton Garden Inn along the River Walk, getting up in the morning and staring out his hotel room window, as he sips on his Pumpkin Spice Latte, and says, “Oh, my goodness, that arch is utterly beautiful as the sunlight glistens upon it… That’s it, we are moving our company to Sioux Falls to hire thousands of Sioux Fallsians at a livable wage…. I have seen the light!”

If Mr. Schiller (and others) truly wants to help “workforce development” in Sioux Falls, then perhaps he could start by hiring workers for his call centers at a wage greater than $ 10 a hour without benefits and only 20 hours a week….

Such current wages prove that his company is living off the safety net, and thus on welfare, as our many of his workers and others’ workers, too, due primarily to the limiting and over profit motivated wage structures of companies like his in this town….. If you can find the money for an unnecessary decorative arch over a river, then you can definitely find the money for better paying jobs for our citizens; and that would be true “workforce development”…It is just a question of what are your priorities?

#6 Me on 09.29.16 at 8:28 am

City businesses support Sculpture Walk. The cost has risen only slightly since it’s inception.
Schiller and Jim Clark have been forward thinking is ways to bring people to Sioux Falls not only as a tourist destination, but a place to live and work.

#7 l3wis on 09.29.16 at 8:50 am

“City businesses support Sculpture Walk. The cost has risen only slightly since it’s inception.”

I know. As I said, I have encouraged SW to take in more private donations and become more independent. And they have, they have also to insure the pieces for the artists. I applaud them for it.

“Schiller and Jim Clark have been forward thinking”

Yeah when you have a monopoly on state advertising contracts and you have the PUC in your back pocket everything is ‘forward thinking’ I guess.

#8 anominous on 09.29.16 at 11:01 am

What, no tire swing?

#9 The D@ily Spin on 09.29.16 at 11:27 am

Sorry, I can’t get past this looking like the same sort of monument in Iraq dedicated to Saddam Hussein. If you must do something wasteful and irrelevant, try another design. There’s a lot of focus on the river. It’s become a sophisticated canal mostly diverted around the city. Rather than this or greenway projects, how about water purification. The falls are a landmark and namesake but there’s disappointment when one sees sludge rolling across a few rocks.

#10 The D@ily Spin on 09.29.16 at 11:35 am

‘The blogger formally known as Winston’ should have a symbol name. Otherwise, let’s call him PRINCE. How about an emoticon?

#11 The Blogger Formerly Known as "Winston" on 09.29.16 at 7:18 pm

What’s Alleppo?….I mean an emoticon?…..;-)

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