Aggressive Article Lacks Perspective
The Spanish and Greek economies are 'financial disasters'; the Cypriot government's proposal to tax savings accounts is a poor response to an impending 'financial disaster'. A $10 thousand dollar a year investment to fund arts in the community is not a financial disaster by any stretch of the imagination. To refer to skilled potters and sculptors as playing with mud or expensive dirt says more about the author of the piece than the realities of learning to make useful households objects and works of art.
Chattanooga is an area that has reinvented itself in the past 20 years and the promotion of the arts has been a key component of this. This is not wasted money: art investment provides employment to local artists (of which Chattanooga has many fine ones), encourages tourism and the associated dollars, and fosters a progressive culture that attracts people to the area and deters skilled labor from leaving. The EAC Pottery Studio provides training for those artists, teaches children during the summertime and provides access to kilns, pottery wheels and other equipment that simply isn't readily available in the area.
I can only assume the vitriol in this article is aimed at people further up the food chain in the Education, Arts and Culture Department and the pottery center is merely innocent collateral damage. My experience of the facility has been that it is clean and well-run with a knowledgeable staff who go out of their way to help their patrons, of whom there are far more than five per day as the article suggests (a simple visit on a Saturday morning would have shown the author this).
While I'm not privy to the records that the author reviewed, there appear to be a number of factual errors in the piece. The studio is open for a total of 12 hours a week so the author's assertion that it's open 220 days a year needs clarification and casts suspicion on the other figures provided.
I can't help but feel that the author's word count would have been better spent promoting the pottery center and making the community aware of the facilities and training available to it rather than indulging in half truths and hyperbole. I encourage anyone who reads this article to write to the new mayor in support of this great facility rather than running it down.