Regarding your recent editorial “Cap on spending for the arts”:

You note that cutting spending for public art isn’t going to save the state much money, but it’s the principle.

Would this be the very same principle that thinks LSU is merely a venue for six nights in Death Valley rather than an aspiring national flagship university? So, why support academics? The very same principle that supports underwriting the mega-profitable TV show “Duck Dynasty” because it brings in visitors who can’t believe we live like that but thinks spending 1 percent for arts included in a public construction project is wasteful?

I hope the Legislature will thoughtfully and artfully fix the state’s budget. But if it wants to tweak this worthwhile program that makes Louisiana look like a national player, why not leave the percentage in place and require that only Louisiana artists or artisans can be contracted? Make it an economic development tool for creative Louisiana as well as an investment in our public buildings and the society they serve.

That’s my idea of a better principle.

Mary Ann Sternberg


Baton Rouge