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Tax Subsidy for each Artisphere visitor? $41.85.

In an online report today, the Arlington Sun Gazette reports, "The Artisphere required a taxpayer subsidy of $41.85 for each visitor it attracted for the fiscal year ending in June, according to a new accounting of the controversial cultural center’s finances." The newspaper also wrote:

"According to the county government, the Rosslyn facility attracted 55,607 visitors during the fiscal year, and required $2.37 million in net taxpayer support while bringing in $163,260 (81.6 percent of the budgeted amount) in admission and ticket income and $362,767 (99.4 percent of budget) in rental income.

"Counting all sources, revenues for the fiscal year totaled $1,221,985, or 97.3 percent of budget, while expenses totaled $3,459,001, or 99 percent of budget."

Yesterday, the online ARLnow.com noted that:

"Admissions and ticket income, educational program income, catering income, and concession income were all well under budget. Were it not for unexpected “event sponsorship” income, largely from the Rosslyn Business Improvement District — a major Artisphere patron which had already contributed $475,000 in the form of a donation — Artisphere would have required more tax support than budgeted."

The Artisphere's annual report for 2012 is available on Arlington County's economic development department's  website (requires Adobe).

At Growls earlier this week, we quoted Camille Paglia who wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal on whether capitalism can save art. In the op-ed, she began:

"Does art have a future? Performance genres like opera, theater, music and dance are thriving all over the world, but the visual arts have been in slow decline for nearly 40 years. No major figure of profound influence has emerged in painting or sculpture since the waning of Pop Art and the birth of Minimalism in the early 1970s."

Hey Arlington County Board, there's a lessor in Ms. Paglia's op-ed. Read it, and learn!

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