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Round-Up: Houston Arts as Money Machine, Tax Dollars at Work and Actors’ Salaries


by Jerome Weeks 17 Nov 2008

The president of Americans for the Arts and the CEO of the Houston Arts Alliance make the case for the arts in Houston as an “economic powerhouse.” But a Houston TV reporter goes undercover and finds a lack of oversight — from the Houston Arts Alliance — for how city tax money has been spent […]

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  • The president of Americans for the Arts and the CEO of the Houston Arts Alliance make the case for the arts in Houston as an “economic powerhouse.”
  • But a Houston TV reporter goes undercover and finds a lack of oversight — from the Houston Arts Alliance — for how city tax money has been spent on particular art projects. He also finds it has helped fund artworks to foster “lesbian puppet tourism” among other things.
  • Meanwhile, the salaries for stage actors in Seattle (and, one assumes, in Texas, too) have remained flat for 15 years, while many theater companies, in that time, have expanded staff, facilities and fundraising. One well-established actor’s decision to leave town inspired Mike Daisey’s now-famous stage monologue/diatribe, How Theater Failed America.
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