Let's keep the Kings arena art as local as possible

The plan for public art at the new arena is moving in the right direction. The Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission has upped its outreach game with locally-based artists vying for the remaining $1.3 million in public funds. There are a lot of Sacramento-based creatives with big ideas for downtown art, too (see our cover story from last month, “A different downtown vision,” here: http://bit.ly/1LXO5sA).

It’s disappointing, however, that artists from 16 other counties, including Bay Area strongholds like San Francisco and Marin, are eligible to submit proposals for arena art. Normally, we’re all for ideas and inspiration outside of the Sacramento box. But the whole “Koonstroversy”—need we get into it?—changes things.

It’s time for Sacramento to keep it local for the remaining four arena public-art projects. Let’s set up a system that prioritizes city of Sacramento residents—they’re the ones paying for the new Kings home.

SMAC head Shelly Willis has stated that she hopes to weight local applicants over out-of-towners. That’s good news. We urge city council and SMAC to follow through on this.