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Can home-run celebrations be considered art?

September 27, 2009

MarlinsThe Miami Herald reports on a surprising use of public funds for the Marlin’s new baseball stadium.

Lost in the debate over the hundreds of millions in public subsidies for the Marlins’ stadium is the $7.7 million in tax dollars set aside for public art.

About $2.5 million of that is earmarked for a “home-run entertainment feature.” So how does a home-run celebration get classified as “art?”

Miami-Dade’s public call for proposals reads: “The home run entertainment feature should conceptually celebrate the Miami Marlins, the ocean, light, movement and the spirit of baseball.”

Although a drop in the bucket in relation to the overall $515 million stadium cost, the unconventional use of arts money has raised some highbrow eyebrows and triggered a philosophical debate over the definition of art.

Rabid baseball fans might think that home runs can “move the soul,” but Becky Matkov, a member of the Art in Public Places Trust, thinks it’s a stretch to call an exploding scoreboard, or whatever is ultimately approved, artistic. “I find it an inappropriate use of public funds,” she says.

Art funds earmarked for new Marlins stadium celebration [Miami Herald]

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