A hatchet piece by Glenn Beaton | AspenTimes.com

A hatchet piece by Glenn Beaton

In response to the absurd headline "Should Toledo Taxpayers pay for Aspen Art?" the answer is a simple no — they should not and did not.

It appears that just about every sentence in Glenn Beaton's article is "fake news" and I will address some of the many lies one by one, mostly in order.

The Aspen Art Museum is privately funded. If you don't trust me, try your lying eyes, Mr. Beaton: "How Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson turned Aspen's art scene international," Aug. 7, 2014, The Denver Post.

To suggest that people in Toledo or any "taxes" were used to pay for construction and operations (where there is zero admission price) is false.

It's an "eye sore. … Almost everyone hates it."

I suppose he never spoke to me or most of my local friends who love it and enjoy it, or even knew that the Pritzker committee bestowed the world's highest architectural honor on its architect, Shigeru Ban. They usually don't give such honors to people who create eyesores.

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And I wonder what you would have preferred there, another empty Nikos and Andy Hecht penthouse and vacant high-end retail? They sold the museum the site and that's what would be there if it weren't for this magnificent $75 million privately funded and free community benefit.

Its spurious and just mean to blame Heidi Zuckerman's high salary on her "artistic burst." As Mr. Beaton clearly doesn't understand, this is a nonprofit, privately funded organization with a board of directors who decide her salary upon market forces. That's actually a term any Republican should favor.

And in reply to what I suppose is his assertion that the public should not pay for "art" or that art and humanities aren't important, just look to the unusually brave thing the Republicans in Congress did: They repudiated Donald Trump's greedy and baseless request to defund all federal money for the arts. They actually increased funding in a slap at his orange face: And this link is from Breitbart, so it must be accurate: http://bit.ly/2pF7NaQ.

I ask you and the horrible and cruel trolls who commented on your story online: "Have you left no sense of decency?" For historical record, that staggering phrase was said by Senate Army Counsel Joseph Welch to the infamous Joseph McCarthy. That was the turning point in his witch hunt for every American who didn't agree with his lies.

Everyone is entitled to his opinion, but I pray that people like Mr. Beaton should use facts instead of bald-faced lies and stop himself from smearing a hardworking woman who brought a wonderful public art museum to our little town. Perhaps Mr. Beaton forgets it was an artistic vision stretching back to Jerome Wheeler and Walter Paepcke that helped make this town of ours as great as it is, and a magnet for people worldwide to visit and live in.

By the way, the Institute of Museum and Library Services recently announced the Aspen Art Museum as one of 10 recipients of the 2017 National Medal for Museum and Library Service — the nation's highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to the community. For 23 years, the award has celebrated institutions that respond to societal needs in innovative ways, making a difference for individuals, families and their communities. The award will be presented at an event in Washington, D.C., this spring.

Tony Sherman

Aspen

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