Podcast: Parsing city arts funding in Madison

Tone Madison editor Scott Gordon discusses our recent coverage of arts initiatives in the 2018 city budget.

Tone Madison’s Chris Lay and Scott Gordon discuss our recent coverage of arts initiatives in the 2018 city budget.



The conversation about how Madison’s city government supports music and culture always seems a bit quieter than it should be. It’s about helping musicians and artists get paid, but it’s not. It involves public money and private organizations. It’s about the excitement of art and the clunkiness of institutions. It theoretically impacts everyone, but not everyone bothers to get involved.

We’ve been checking in on all this as the city prepares to pass its 2018 operating budget. We’ve published two stories that specifically look at the arts-related funding in the upcoming budget, and we’ve launched a Facebook group to encourage more conversation about public arts funding in Madison (and other issues in the future). We’ve also published a few more reflections about the budget story for our Patreon supporters.

As the Madison Common Council prepares to pass its budget later this month, Tone Madison editor Scott Gordon and associate publisher Chris Lay discussed our coverage of arts funding issues in Madison. We offered a breakdown of some of the bigger issues involved, why people have such specific arguments about how hotel-room tax funds should be spent, and our weird struggles to get basic information about the city-funded Between The Waves conference.

Give the conversation a listen here, or subscribe to the Tone Madison podcast on Apple Podcasts. If you like what you’re hearing, please leave us a review on Apple Podcasts and consider supporting us financially with a few bucks a month through our Patreon.

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