More art would mean more money for Chico

A Loomis in autumn.

A Loomis in autumn.

Don’t be dumb, invest in the arts Dear Chico City Council: Don’t be shortsighted jerks. Investing virtually no money in the arts—a mere $25,000 for community funding, which includes social-service groups—is dumb. It doesn’t take an economist to realize that someone coming to town to see Chico PerformancesMavis Staples concert at Laxson Auditorium next month (Jan. 16) is going to drop some coin into our merchants’ pockets. And ask the Winchester Goose, Amigos de Acapulco, Chico Natural Foods and Leon Bistro if they would be better off with or without the five concerts and one art opening happening at the no-longer-city-funded 1078 Gallery over the next week? Do what’s right and smart. Spend a teeny-tiny percentage of the general fund budget on art. Make people happy, and make some money for the local economy while you are at it: win-win. Sincerely, Arts DEVO. P.S. And kick down some extra skrilla for parks and trees, too. The city’s logo is a freakin’ tree, for crying out loud.

OK, maybe it’s not a good idea for me to be the one writing a letter to the council about all this (but seriously, it really is just a drop in the bucket, and only a fool would choose not to see the benefits).

It’s probably better to look to the members of the Chico Arts Commission to compose a letter, which they are currently doing in anticipation of the council’s next meeting on Tuesday (Dec. 16). In addition to encouraging the city’s investment in the arts, the commission also is making a case for itself, since the previous council had suggested that its role be revised—perhaps including removal as an officially appointed organization—in light of the present lack of funding. Current Arts Commission Chair Muir Hughes (whose four-year term on the commission comes to an end this week) sent me a rough draft of the letter to be read, and in it, the commissioners waste no time getting to the heart of why its role as city arts adviser should remain intact: “Keeping the commission linked to the city is critical to the opportunity for resident participation in a facet of city government that oversees one of our strongest economic drivers…. the arts!”

They also will go on to explain how investment in the arts during such tough times can be a key to economic recovery as it attracts artsgoers and tourists to spend money in our local businesses, and that other cities are recovering from the recession and counteracting blight by doing so. The draft letter ends with: “We are the guardians of a significant resource and our work is essential in ensuring its continued health and growth in our city. The arts provide countless and varied opportunities for positive community engagement for our residents. We encourage the council to consider their support of the arts as we move towards a brighter future.”

I support that. I encourage all arts lovers to show up for the meeting Tuesday and do the same.

Shove a Loomis under your tree You know how you’re always asking, “Why doesn’t that rad artist Matt Loomis ever sell prints of that rad art of his?” Well, you can finally shut up and stop asking so many questions, because Loomis (aka DJ Goodburger, aka “Loomz,” aka DJ MattleAxe) has something for sale just in time for the art-giving season. “One Mile,” the sweet drawing of the Sycamore Pool bridge he did for KZFR T-shirts last year, is now available as a 16-by-16-inch screen print. It comes in red ink on “100 lb. French Pop Tone Whip Cream paper” (ooh la-la), and a limited run of 50 are available from Invisible Industries at for only $25 each! (At that price, you can afford to pick up his “Drunk Wizard” print while you’re at it.)