Friday, November 13, 2009

Groundbreaking at Barnes Museum Site

Some protesters appeared today at the site of the Barnes Museum's groundbreaking ceremony on the Ben Franklin Parkway criticizing the Barnes Museum so called pork barrel spending, some going as far as to say it is a playground for the "rich and famous".

I'm not sure how the Barnes Museum can be labeled a playground for the "rich and famous", or even criticized as wasteful spending. If anything, relocating to the Parkway makes it more accessible to everyone, and not just those poised to drive to Lower Merion.

If the "rich and famous" are the only ones visiting the Barnes museum, the only ones to blame are the "poor and unknown". In a city more likely to invest in block parties for baseball fans than libraries and textbooks, any investment in culture and education is an investment in everyone.

Art and culture become invaluable in economic hard times. As families are less able to invest in wasteful gadgets and expensive trinkets that retain children's stunted attention for a matter of days, artwork has the potential to become a reluctant but enlightening source of entertainment.

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