Saturday, June 10, 2006

New Arts Champion in OC - BJE record release party

Big Jack Earl is profiled in the Derrick this morning as tonght is their release party at the Barrow Civic Theatre. The opening act is Maine's Tree by Leaf (who played a show at the Summer House Coffee Roasters last night)Tickets are $5 and available at the door.

Joann Wheeler was named was named Oil City's "Arts Champion" "by the city's downtown arts revitalization committee to jumpstart a local arts and cultural district movement. The announcement was made at a Friday morning meeting of the Oil City Arts Council", according to this morning's Derrick.

Should be a cakewalk of a job, I mean, 19K per year for being responsible for securing funding for the program through grants and other sources and will work with city government, Take Pride in Oil City, banks, realtors, service clubs and civic groups. . .also responsible for implementing a marketing plan and creating the theme of a "one-stop" contact for development of the program.

I can't help but think the woman is set up for failure. This should have been a full time position with a national search.


Anonymous said...

Arts Champion here --
National search? On an operating budget of $4,000? (Want to donate?)

You're right: no budget, no time, huge expectations -- but I still can't come up with a really good reason not to start from where we are.

Congratulations on your new book --


Dittman said...

First, thanks for the kind congrats!

Secondly, you're right, I understand the budget didn't pay for a national search, but it should have! The search would have been similar to an post secondary academic search - traditionally only with "big name" schools are any travel costs covered (for instance, Penn State didn't even offer me mileage or hotel money, but I did get a meal ticket for the day!) so the only real cost for an interview OC would have had to shoulder would have been the classifieds - and even then, why not hit the alt papers - Pittsburgh City Paper for example, use Craig's List and and both which have non-profit sections - we (the artists of the region) are expecting that this person will be tech savvy, so why not use tech to recruit.

I don't know this woman, I'm sure she's very competent, but to me it seemed like such a an insular hire which is counter-productive when a region is trying to come up with some fresh ideas.

But, I also understand your point -journey of a thousand miles and all that - I just don't want to see this woman pulled through the wringer, and then have her failure (and I hope she succeeds wildly and would be glad to help her in whatever way she asked - aside from windows, my wife says I always do them wrong) used to kill future art-oriented plans (e.g. "we already tried that and it didn't work")

Thanks for the post though - super ideas! Your words make me think that I should try to contact the new Champ to see if she'll do an interview with Venangago-go!

Dittman said...

Oh wait. Stupid me! Are you the new Arts Champ? Want to do an interview? Drop me a line at