From Amir Ali Alibhai: Former BC Arts Council chair Jane Danzo's letter of resignation to Minister Kevin Krueger comes as a refreshing expression of "truth to power”.
In the face of almost daily announcements of cuts to government funding of the arts, we were at first disappointed to learn of Jane's resignation. She has been a longtime supporter and tireless advocate for the cultural community, and we were dismayed at the prospect of the loss of her influence.
However, her official letter of resignation makes clear that she has stepped down so that she can speak out. Her disengagement from the BC Arts Council leaves her free to speak to us and for us in the longer range work of bringing to British Columbia a rational and sustainable arts funding policy.
We appreciate and applaud her courage and integrity in taking this step. The arts community is without question in crisis, and to have someone of Jane's position and stature stand up and speak out on our behalf is a major development and source of encouragement.
Our own voices of protest and concern may be ignored and discounted, but hers cannot.
Some arts organizations that have recently seen large funding cuts are afraid to speak out for fear of losing further funding opportunities. That this fear is well-founded is itself distressing and is a sad reflection of our entire political and bureaucratic reality.
Jane's speaking out on behalf of the creative sector will help unite our community and strengthen our ongoing advocacy efforts.
We look forward to working with Ms. Danzo in the weeks and years to come. Her contribution will be invaluable.
Amir Ali Alibhai
Alliance for Arts and Culture