Letter: Opportunity for artists | PostIndependent.com

Letter: Opportunity for artists

Dave Reed, you ask a very pertinent question: Why the “creatives”? Well, first let’s get rid of this PC marketing that seeks to make it look like they aren’t just artists. To understand “why artist?” we must take a brief look at inner city gentrification.

In the late ’70s and early ’80s, because of scrap off urban renewal schemes that were too big to pull off and residential flight to the suburbs, caused largely by forced integration of the school system, the downtown areas of all major cities were severely blighted.

Because of this circumstance, these neighborhoods were filled with empty buildings with cheap, affordable rent that enabled artist living and working space, making it so more of their time could be spent making art than working to keep a roof over their heads. Other than these artists, there were working poor who managed to survive government-sponsored urban renewals’ massive failure to revitalize these areas.

Then nose-to-the-grindstone prosperity happened, and the neighborhoods suddenly were vibrant, creative, economic engines that attracted people to move back to the city from the cookie-cutter suburbs. Thus, parasites came to make a buck, and gentrification priced the artist out of the neighborhoods they made viable.

So the artist moved into other neighborhoods where they could work, and as art worked its magic they again were forced to move. Finally, they sought solutions to this problem, successfully demonstrated they were the actual force behind the economic revitalization of these neighborhoods that gentrification is making unaffordable for all, and generated solutions to keep their businesses from being squashed by rich people who actually contribute nothing to society — which unfortunately is the majority of that 1 percent.

What works the poor artist creates, the über rich destroy. And, because the rich are impotent and artists will continue to create despite this cancer of individual wealth, we must look to the artist to create a world that works for the greatest good. So the question is how can we fit others in before the rich destroy opportunity.

Eric Olander

Glenwood Springs


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