4
| News |

Should the U.S. Government Subsidize Accordion Festivals?

^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

A group of accordion fanatics in Texas aren't happy with Arizona Congressman Jeff Flake.

This coming weekend is the International Accordion Festival in San Antonio, Texas. The Festival is subsidized by the National Endowment of the Arts, an independent agency of the federal government pegged with dishing out cash in the form grants to support the arts.

Last year, the NEA gave the Accordion Festival $35,000. Thanks to Congressman Flake, the festival only received $30,000 in government coin this year.

As Gwen Rivera, the festival's director, told New Times yesterday, the festival -- which has a budget of $150,000 -- is feeling the cuts.

See our story on the festival here.

She credits Flake with the cuts to her budget after he grilled Rocco Landesman, chairman of the NEA, during a U.S. House Appropriations sub-committee meeting earlier this year. Flake wanted to know why -- given the current realities of the U.S. economy -- the NEA should give funds to certain groups that, according to him, are "a bit tough to justify."

Flake specifically singled out the San Francisco Mime Troupe and the International Accordion Festival.

"Those kind of grants lend themselves to ridicule," Flake said at the time.

If you ask us, that's because the federal government spending taxpayer money on things like accordions and mimes is ridiculous -- but we want to know what you think: should the federal government subsidize an accordion festival?

Cast your vote below.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.