Letter published in the July 9 issue of The Explorer.

Oro Valley must support the arts

Re:  In response to Mr. K. C. Carter’s proposal to cut full funding to GOVAC in three years.

How great is my disappointment in Oro Valley! As a 23-year resident  of the greater Tucson area, eight years in Oro Valley, I have never felt as disillusioned as I do now.

This is supposed to be a “Community of Excellence.” Where, then, is a venue for the performing arts? Other than in private facilities, where can visual art be displayed? Where is there a community center that might fulfill these needs — available to all? It seems that consideration and partnership solutions for these needs in our town’s infrastructure are not as doable as the reconfiguring of a fairway and a tee box. With the money coming from a state loan to be repaid from the Highway User Fund, the problem was solved rather quickly. Could such a partnership and solution be found for the arts?

Oro Valley is a diversified community, from young, growing families, to older, retired people – and – not everybody is affluent. There are very dissimilar interests as well as many common incentives for living here: recreational facilities, good schools, a public library, nearby shopping and medical care, potential growth, and, last but not least, the arts.

But lately, the arts council in Oro Valley which has promoted this essential part of American culture for the past 10 years has come under fire. GOVAC is a community-based non-profit organization providing an uplifting element to the lives of our residents. We need to look to strengthening the arts activities that already define Oro Valley, and not look for ways to eliminate what could be an important factor to our future well-being.

Soccer fields, dog parks, pools are all well and good – but are we fulfilling the needs of all of our citizens? At least the arts are a great equalizer in terms of economic and social discrepancies.

And how about our school children? GOVAC has stepped in and already helps 2,000-plus students receive a greater accessibility to the arts.

And so – to K.C. Carter and those who might agree with him – please be aware that the arts offer insight into the emotional and spiritual culture of people, preserve unique traditions, and evolve into new ones. We must support the arts so that they may continue to grow. It is an investment in the quality of life. Communities that support arts organizations are ultimately enriched by the experience.

Irma Sankman

Oro Valley

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