What's With 'Arts Build'?

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Is it just me or is anyone else scratching their heads at the billboards/advertisements in town that say “Goodbye Allied Arts, Hello Arts Build?” Yes, I get it, they are changing their name. What I don’t get is why?  And, what is “Arts Build” supposed to mean? Is there a great need to change the name from Allied Arts? Apparently the board of directors thought it was a good idea. Why, what was wrong with the name “Allied Arts"

Normally, something like this wouldn’t even warrant a second look. However, this absolutely warrants a second look because the organization is funded, in part, by the tax dollars of the residents of the city of Chattanooga. This year, Allied Arts/Arts Build (whatever you want to call them) has requested over $300,000 in funding from the city. That’s three with five zeros.

Perhaps the board members are all “artsy types” who have had no prior business experience. (I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt). Perhaps they took a temporary leave of their senses. Perhaps they just don’t care about fiscal responsibility. Folks, an organizational name change is a big deal. It is very expensive. It involves lawyers who will have to revise all of the organization’s original internal documents and will have to re-file all of their state and federal registrations. They will have to re-register for federal funds under the new name. They will have to re-print all of their business letterhead, envelopes, business cards, checks, promotional materials, building signs, and re-write leases with landlords. Employees will spend countless hours changing the name on every account ranging from EPB to AT&T.  

Which brings me back to the billboards.  How much will be spent to “market” the new name.  So far, I’ve seen billboards and print ads. What else have they deemed as a “necessary expense” to communicate the new name to the public?

I already have a problem with the city spending money on Blue Rhinos instead of police officers or city roads. But this is outrageous. In this case I’m not even getting a Blue Rhino for my money. I believe that if the board of Allied Arts thinks they have enough money in their budget to pay for a name change instead of funding another art project, they have way too much money. City Council, vote to deny funding.

John Pierce

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