Pillsbury "A" Mill Redevelopment

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Nathan
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Re: Pillsbury "A" Mill Redevelopment

Postby Nathan » October 22nd, 2014, 11:56 am

I guess I wonder if a subsidy is a subsidy is a subsidy. Somebody's previous wealth and privilege shouldn't be a burden on their current situation. (I can't live on my parents privilege for example) An artist chooses to create art for their and others cultural joy and acceptance, and could be extremely unhappy if they didn't. There is No real good way for the government to subsidize their work or wages, artists lofts is a pretty good option. Minimum wage hikes is a pretty good option for minority, immigrant, and unskilled labor sector. Many types of people are qualifying for many types of subsidies from the government, none of which are perfect. I think it's unfair to pin artists lofts against other types of affordable housing, when the people who can get other kinds of subsidized housing can usually get other sorts of subsidies as well, or will benefit from other types of programs. You can't just claim the building gives privilege to a group without quantitating how much subsidy each group is getting and then evaluating each groups value to the community. which group is actually getting the most subsidy all together? And is the net gain of Artist lofts and economic negative? Probably not, so the program isn't failing either, it's still providing opportunity and stability for a group of people. Perhaps taking some artists off food stamps or helping them pay down their student loans. If we assume any program is static and for one purpose, I think that's missing the point too.

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Re: Pillsbury "A" Mill Redevelopment

Postby Didier » October 22nd, 2014, 12:56 pm

Using quote marks around "artists" implies that there might be some sort of deception going on, but I'm pretty certain the criteria is more sophisticated than the honor's system.

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Re: Pillsbury "A" Mill Redevelopment

Postby nlt » October 22nd, 2014, 1:05 pm

I don't think that IS the case, but how does that argument differ from any other 'xxx is code for yyy' arguments that are frequenty employed when arguing against discriminatory policies?
I think it would be useful to try imagine the development happening without the artist requirement. Nothing about the financing would have to change, but the demographic that's be sought is far different. Why? Are their any quantitative benefits to attracting one group of people over another, or is the justification just some vague ideas about "vibrancy" and "adding value?"
Somebody's previous wealth and privilege shouldn't be a burden on their current situation. ... An artist chooses to create art for their and others cultural joy and acceptance, and could be extremely unhappy if they didn't. There is No real good way for the government to subsidize their work or wages, artists lofts is a pretty good option.
But what you're saying is that we're subsidizing what is essentially a (I apologize for using the term) lifestyle choice, as opposed to creating housing opportunities for people who may not choose to be artists or choose to base their primary income on artistic endeavors- people who may not have ever had wealth and privilege. Why do we need to make special privileges for artists? Couldn't they just as easily live there if it were any other LIHTC property? Artists are free to apply at Riverside Plaza, after all. You can't tell me that Cedar-Riverside isn't "vibrant" or that residents of subsidized housing there haven't added value to the neighborhood.

Again, I'm maybe being too cynical here- I know that one of the artists lofts in St Paul has a pretty diverse tenant population, including immigrants and Section 8 holders- but that's after 20 years, the dissolution of the artist loft coop, and a vacancy problem.

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Re: Pillsbury "A" Mill Redevelopment

Postby nlt » October 22nd, 2014, 1:08 pm

Didier wrote:Using quote marks around "artists" implies that there might be some sort of deception going on, but I'm pretty certain the criteria is more sophisticated than the honor's system.
I think you have to have a certain percentage of your income from some sort of artistic endeavor. I could be mistaken, and there might be additional criteria.

But who gets to decide who's an artist? It's a vague term.

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Nathan
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Re: Pillsbury "A" Mill Redevelopment

Postby Nathan » October 22nd, 2014, 1:21 pm

nlt wrote:
Somebody's previous wealth and privilege shouldn't be a burden on their current situation. ... An artist chooses to create art for their and others cultural joy and acceptance, and could be extremely unhappy if they didn't. There is No real good way for the government to subsidize their work or wages, artists lofts is a pretty good option.
But what you're saying is that we're subsidizing what is essentially a (I apologize for using the term) lifestyle choice, as opposed to creating housing opportunities for people who may not choose to be artists or choose to base their primary income on artistic endeavors- people who may not have ever had wealth and privilege. Why do we need to make special privileges for artists? Couldn't they just as easily live there if it were any other LIHTC property? Artists are free to apply at Riverside Plaza, after all. You can't tell me that Cedar-Riverside isn't "vibrant" or that residents of subsidized housing there haven't added value to the neighborhood.

Again, I'm maybe being too cynical here- I know that one of the artists lofts in St Paul has a pretty diverse tenant population, including immigrants and Section 8 holders- but that's after 20 years, the dissolution of the artist loft coop, and a vacancy problem.
I'd have to imagine that the combined income of the art (which I think is like 60%) and their other work might put artists out of a regular section 8 housing situation, and their needs are completely different. These are live work units. IF an artist lived at cedar riverside they would also have to rent a studio place some where and that would put the cost out of proportion.

I'm sure there are plenty of people living in section 8 housing because of lifestyle choices that are much less productive than going to school becoming educated and having student debt. Gambling... Drinking... Crime... And I'm glad that there is housing for that, but it's a completely different need.

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Re: Pillsbury "A" Mill Redevelopment

Postby mplsjaromir » October 22nd, 2014, 1:21 pm

A working artist is someone who conceptualizes and creates original and consumable works that are not to the benefit of another commercial enterprise.

A good primer:

http://youtu.be/3XUYYlJuvfg?t=35s

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TommyT
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Re: Pillsbury "A" Mill Redevelopment

Postby TommyT » October 22nd, 2014, 1:30 pm

From what I read on their website you have to put together a portfolio of your work (whatever that may be) and present it to a selection committee.

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Re: Pillsbury "A" Mill Redevelopment

Postby xandrex » October 22nd, 2014, 1:50 pm

nlt wrote:But what you're saying is that we're subsidizing what is essentially a (I apologize for using the term) lifestyle choice, as opposed to creating housing opportunities for people who may not choose to be artists or choose to base their primary income on artistic endeavors- people who may not have ever had wealth and privilege.
Maybe my experiences are different, but most of the artistic people I know didn't come from privileged backgrounds to begin with (at least in regards to class). Many of them are in art because it is what they are innately good at, the same way some are good with numbers or talking in front of groups of people, etc.

I'd love to be in a variety of fields that pay significantly better, but I chose my field (not art)--despite its relatively low pay--because I would have been unsuccessful in just about any other field. I'm young and have a lot of future wage growth potential, but I'm the poorest of my friends. And there's not a whole lot I can do about it because I'm lousy at the fields in which they excel. The same is no doubt true of artists, who provide a real service to our communities.

That said, I'm often a bit skeptical of the selection processes for these buildings. Some of the above-mentioned artists I know were able to find housing in "artist lofts," but more than a few of their fellow tenants had questionable reason to be there.

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Re: Pillsbury "A" Mill Redevelopment

Postby nlt » October 22nd, 2014, 2:09 pm

I'll continue to be the curmudgeonly philistine here.
Nathan wrote: I'd have to imagine that the combined income of the art (which I think is like 60%) and their other work might put artists out of a regular section 8 housing situation, and their needs are completely different. These are live work units. IF an artist lived at cedar riverside they would also have to rent a studio place some where and that would put the cost out of proportion.
Well, sure, that's all certainly true. But why does their hobby/interest/pursuit/passion deserve a public subsidy?
Nathan wrote: I'm sure there are plenty of people living in section 8 housing because of lifestyle choices that are much less productive than going to school becoming educated and having student debt. Gambling... Drinking... Crime... And I'm glad that there is housing for that, but it's a completely different need.
That's getting pretty close to stereotyping subsidized housing residents. We're talking about a program that was created to ensure the availability of quality housing in high-demand areas for people who have incomes below the AMGI, and as I said in my previous post, artists are welcome to apply to any other subsidized property. Doesn't fit their needs? Well, whose problem is that? Artistic pursuit is a choice. Many of my tenants fix cars for interest and extra income, but they certainly don't get a garage. You're absolutely right that artists have different needs, which is why we shouldn't be subsidizing them with the LIHTC program!
TommyT wrote:From what I read on their website you have to put together a portfolio of your work (whatever that may be) and present it to a selection committee.
Doesn't that just support the point that there isn't an objective screening process for tenants?


I'm not sure we'll ever get anywhere with all this, but I'm glad I could vent a few of my frustrations with the concept. I work in subsidized housing, where fairness and equal treatment and avoiding any kind of favoritism or disparate impact is so very emphatically emphasized in everything we do, and it's frustrating all of those concerns suddenly thrown out the window because "art."

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Re: Pillsbury "A" Mill Redevelopment

Postby mattaudio » October 22nd, 2014, 3:10 pm

As someone who is a paid musician, playing in rock bands, orchestras, jazz groups, churches, etc. I really struggle to understand why anyone feels they have a right to earn a living doing art (or anything else for that matter). This is a prolific debate in the music world, as there are people who constantly get upset about musicians playing for cheap or free. Do I think it's a wise thing to do? Naw, not really. But it's up to people to determine their own reasons for taking a gig, and it's not about just money. It reminds me of this Molly Priesmeyer blog I can't say I agree with.. http://www.startribune.com/local/yourvo ... 32462.html

It's not going to be easy to make a living doing art/music in a world where the barriers to entry have been lowered so much by technology, online classes, mass production of the tools needed, etc. And in areas where people take on these artistic endeavors and produce work for a lot of reasons other than money.

Getting back to the artist loft thing, I like the idea but I dislike the subsidy. If we want to support artists, we can do that in many other ways such as consuming more art privately and publicly. In my musician world, I know and respect quite a few people who do music full time, but realize the business is 80%, the music work is 18%, and the shows themselves are 2% of the work. Then there are plenty of folks who have day jobs to pay the mortgage and the student loans. But the people who bug me are the delusional folks in between who think they somehow have a right to earn a living because they're a musician.

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Re: Pillsbury "A" Mill Redevelopment

Postby MplsSteve » October 22nd, 2014, 8:20 pm

mattaudio wrote:I really struggle to understand why anyone feels they have a right to earn a living doing art (or anything else for that matter).
So... what you're saying is that you struggle to understand why anyone feels they have a right to earn a living (period)? :?

I think people have brought up some valid points regarding affordable housing for artists, however for the sake of the discussion I wish that someone from the other side of the issue would chime in .

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Re: Pillsbury "A" Mill Redevelopment

Postby mattaudio » October 22nd, 2014, 9:12 pm

Right to earn a living? Yes. Right to earn a living doing a specific thing, art or not? No.

Yet the whole concept of "earning" a living seems so strange in our modern society. I'd support a GMI.

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Re: Pillsbury "A" Mill Redevelopment

Postby Nathan » October 22nd, 2014, 9:42 pm

nlt wrote:I'll continue to be the curmudgeonly philistine here.
Nathan wrote: I'd have to imagine that the combined income of the art (which I think is like 60%) and their other work might put artists out of a regular section 8 housing situation, and their needs are completely different. These are live work units. IF an artist lived at cedar riverside they would also have to rent a studio place some where and that would put the cost out of proportion.
Well, sure, that's all certainly true. But why does their hobby/interest/pursuit/passion deserve a public subsidy?
Why does someones interest/passion/pursuit of coming to america deserve a subsidy? I'm not saying I have any answers, I'm just saying there are a lot of other people who are being questionably subsidized as well. For reasons the government or general population thinks is beneficial to american culture and longevity.
nlt wrote:
Nathan wrote: I'm sure there are plenty of people living in section 8 housing because of lifestyle choices that are much less productive than going to school becoming educated and having student debt. Gambling... Drinking... Crime... And I'm glad that there is housing for that, but it's a completely different need.
That's getting pretty close to stereotyping subsidized housing residents. We're talking about a program that was created to ensure the availability of quality housing in high-demand areas for people who have incomes below the AMGI, and as I said in my previous post, artists are welcome to apply to any other subsidized property. Doesn't fit their needs? Well, whose problem is that? Artistic pursuit is a choice. Many of my tenants fix cars for interest and extra income, but they certainly don't get a garage. You're absolutely right that artists have different needs, which is why we shouldn't be subsidizing them with the LIHTC program!

You brought up lifestyle choice not I. Imagine being someone with an incredible eye and being a talented painter but sucking at math and science and privileged or not that's what you're good at, you don't qualify for a career job and you didn't get into college but you're a great artist. There isn't some corporation paying you 50k a year just because you have a generic mba even if you could probably manage that. The perception that being an artist is a lifestyle choice is just incorrect, a lot of artists have issues/personality traits that main stream culture and the general office place don't accept. So go ahead calling it a choice to do art but if that's what someones good at, it's a better use of their time pursuing a degree than trying to do business and having to drop out and have loans and working minimum wage.

Artists can't be employed at a studio the way a mechanic can be employed at a garage, that's the whole point.

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Re: Pillsbury "A" Mill Redevelopment

Postby EOst » October 22nd, 2014, 9:53 pm

mattaudio wrote:Getting back to the artist loft thing, I like the idea but I dislike the subsidy. If we want to support artists, we can do that in many other ways such as consuming more art privately and publicly.
Except that nowhere ever have artists been successfully supported just by consumption of art; it's not what the art market is set up for, and it's not how artists work either. (Also, do we really want the main criterion artists think about when working to be "will someone buy this crap"? Because most of the great art of the 20th century wouldn't have happened if every artist had to be constantly worried about immediate commercial appeal.)

Once again: government subsidy of artists is literally one of the oldest and widespread traditions in Western civilization, and it's precisely because the art market doesn't work otherwise. Removing government subsidies doesn't correct any market imbalances; it just means that only rich people can be artists.

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Re: Pillsbury "A" Mill Redevelopment

Postby FISHMANPET » October 23rd, 2014, 12:01 am

Should Artists lofts be subsidized through arts programs, rather than Low Income Housing programs then?

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Re: Pillsbury "A" Mill Redevelopment

Postby FISHMANPET » October 23rd, 2014, 12:03 am

Also, the world is full of people that are staggeringly incompetent at their jobs yet somehow manage to not just survive, but thrive. So don't let a complete and total lack of ability at a particular career stop you from going for it.

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Re: Pillsbury "A" Mill Redevelopment

Postby xandrex » October 23rd, 2014, 12:31 pm

FISHMANPET wrote:Should Artists lofts be subsidized through arts programs, rather than Low Income Housing programs then?
Isn't this kind of a "6 in one, half a dozen in the other"? If artist housing currently gets funding through regular LIHTCs now, I imagine such a new program would simply siphon off a portion of the LIHTC money. Money is already allocated with the knowledge that some of the housing will be aimed at artists, apparently.

People like art, but most people either can't afford art or simply don't want to pay for it. But we still want it produced because it provides a lot of intangibles (it can inspire, make people happy, and with certain types of art, assist in place-making), so in many ways, this is a market correction (we subsidize the good we want more of).

If LIHTC aren't everyone's flavor--but they still like the idea of subsidizing art--I'm pretty sure economists would argue the best way to help would be a direct check from the government for art. But I don't see that flying anytime soon.

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Re: Pillsbury "A" Mill Redevelopment

Postby MNdible » October 23rd, 2014, 12:37 pm

xandrex wrote:I'm pretty sure economists would argue the best way to help would be a direct check from the government for art. But I don't see that flying anytime soon.
Yeah, probably not.

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Re: Pillsbury "A" Mill Redevelopment

Postby mattaudio » October 23rd, 2014, 12:50 pm

Yeah, that's why I was suggesting more public (and private) consumption of art. You know, that whole Keynesian demand-side thing.

^^Even though E0st apparently doesn't consider public consumption of art to be consumption of art or a government subsidy of artists.

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Re: Pillsbury "A" Mill Redevelopment

Postby xandrex » October 23rd, 2014, 12:50 pm

MNdible wrote:
xandrex wrote:I'm pretty sure economists would argue the best way to help would be a direct check from the government for art. But I don't see that flying anytime soon.
Yeah, probably not.
These are largely grants for projects and such. Certainly close to what I was referring to. But I was thinking more like a direct check to help pay the artists, regardless of how often they were producing. In essence, a salary (or GMI, really). I'm pretty sure Legacy Funding doesn't include that...or am I wrong?


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