Mayor David Bowers (inside right) with supporters (from right) Jenny Taubman, Bittle Porterfield and Haywood Fralin
The announcement this morning that the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke--that architectural boiling point in downtown Roanoke with the big expense ($66 million to build) and the smaller collection--is a welcome one for guys like me who favor opening the arts to the whole public.
This place has been a focal point for years for those who believe art is only for the elite. It is now for everybody because of the largesse of the elite, who will pay that admission for those who can't afford it--and for those who can. Nick Taubman's Advance Auto Parts is giving $150,000 in order to support those admissions and a new board of people with a lot of money will offset operating expenses, relieving the museum's executives and staff from the constant burden of looming bankruptcy.
The government has pretty much gotten out of the arts business (a loss to all of us in the world's richest country), so if we are to have art and culture, people with money will have to come forward and Roanoke is fortunate to have those people and that vision.
I'm proud of our little city and its people today.