A tale of Two Santa Anas

Presidential candidate John Edwards likes to talk about the “Two Americas” – and here in Orange County we have a great example of this in Santa Ana. My city has some of the poorest people in the county – but we also have an upper crust that loves spending tax money on their pet projects.

For example, the Bowers Museum has been funded, in part, by the City of Santa Ana, for years. In return they have allowed the city residents to enter their facility for free, one day per month. Now they have increased their admission during the week to $17 per person. That effectively shuts out most of the city’s population. And we still get only one free day in return for subsidizing the place.

Go to the Bowers now and you will see one side of Santa Ana. Go south and you will see the other side.

Here is what the Times had to say about the price increase: “But for general admission, the Bowers’ $19 tops the going rate of major big-city museums, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Art Institute of Chicago (both $12), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art ($12.50) and the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and Atlanta’s High Museum of Art (both $15).”

Sure, our upper crust is involved in numerous non-profit ventures. They come down from their mansions and whiz around our city in their hybrid cars and point to their artist’s village and beat there chest. They brush their crumbs off and share them with the poor. Then they beat a hasty retreat as the sun goes down and return to their estates.

In the meantime, the city has to make do with one library. The streets in the inner city are a mess. We don’t have enough parks. But our money goes to a museum that is run by a guy who says, “it does get down to economics,” he said. “If you are going to do world-class exhibitions, somehow you have to pay for them.”

Exactly how do these exhibitions matter to the people of Santa Ana? It’s time to end the city subsidy of the Bowers and let the glitterati fend for themselves.

About Admin

"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.