Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Thursday at 3pm I will be shooting and covering a discussion at Holyoke Community College. Bill Fogarty will be dropping a bomb shell on the HCC community, telling them that the new photography lab, scheduled to open for the spring semester, will yet again be delayed till the fall 09 semester. A $400,000 budget cut has put a serious strain on the almost complete lab. A delay of this magnitude is further keeping students from taking classes before they transfer. Classes that have not been offered in years as well as new classes that would benefit students.

Since the beginning of September I have been watching discussions and debates about Holyoke and the rise of th arts in the city. I have seen a number of articles pertaining to boosting the artistic community and how "we" should be doing something about it. Even today in the studio I took part in a small discussion about how Holyoke is the ideal place to bring about an artistic community. It saddens me deeply to see that the new lab will again be delayed.

As a graduate of the photography program and a very active person within the HCC community I feel that this is also playing a huge and impacting roll within Holyoke itself. HCC once upon a time, about two years ago used to be a part of Open Square. A falling out occurred and now HCC does not currently have studio space off campus. I sat on an Art Advisory Board meeting back in May and part of the discussion, (one reason I was asked to sit on the board) was about setting up a space off campus as a studio/gallery for students to be a part of.

Now, this all ties into an article I read last night about a "Canal Walk" in Holyoke. If the students of HCC have a studio/gallery space, that would be a part of the Canal Walk and further bring about more arts into the Holyoke Community. However, budget cuts are responsible for a number of sever issues that are initially forcing any and all arts related events and ideas to a stand still. Here is an example of how off campus studio space would beneficial to students, each April there is a student show. It is hung salon style in the Taber Gallery, which is fine. However, a bigger space would allow students to have the opportunity to take part in a more professional atmosphere. It would give students a chance to be off the campus and show their work in a more public setting, bringing in more traffic and art seeking enthusiasts.

On Thursday night I will be posting a two part article about the budget cuts and just how it has impacted the community. Education is a number one resource for creating new jobs and businesses. When students aren't given the resources they need to create, learn, and advance their education, everyone suffers.

Please check back the articles I will be posting tomorrow.


VanDog said...

Your probably not going to like this, but here goes my rant:

The state has become over-educated at the expense of the tax paying worker. The economy of western mass is currently sitting at a 1968 level.

For the past 30 years our bright young people have been educated to find work outside of Mass. We are funding our own exodus of brain power because our policies are unbalanced. Umass Amherst alone has absorbed Billions of tax dollars the past few years, but the State has continually cut funding to western mass so much that there is a back log of 2 Billion dollars of road work, and now they are going to cut everything else.

This was totally unsustainable, and now it is going to collapse. The root cause of this is that very smart educators are good at lobbing for more support, while less educated workers are not as good, even though they are the origin of the money the educators want.

:end rant.

S said...

Arts funding always seems to be the first to get cut, just look at our (re-elected, ugh) PM who claims that the majority of the public doesn't care about arts and therefore the funding should be drastically cut. Such a shame.
Best of luck with everything going on in Holyoke, I'm looking forward to staying tuned on this...