Arts Not Optional, Pt. 2: Will You Pocket Veto?

Stephanie Hunt

So maybe Governor Haley’s ugly little veto was all an act—benign grandstanding to placate her tea party crowd. Maybe she really values and appreciates art after all; in fact, maybe she has a thing for drama, for putting on a show, for doing her “no big government” song-and-dance because she gets her kicks via good choreography. Maybe she knew full well her little executive ax job would not just be overridden, but downright pummeled by the House and Senate, thank heavens.


Remember learning about legislative procedure in seventh grade social studies? Remember the pocket veto—when a bill or measure dies a slow death because the chief executive neither signs nor returns it before Congress adjourns? It amounts to veto by neglect, more or less. Well, my friends, we made the calls to our representatives. We rallied for funding for the Arts Commission, and we won. Thank you and hallelujah! But the pocket veto is still on the table, as is the pocket vote. Your pocket veto. Your pocket vote. Let’s not let our local arts community die by our neglect.


Fellow artsies, it’s not enough to raise hell on a blog (read Part 1 here), to click “Like” on Facebook. It’s not enough to call our representatives and senators (but I’m awfully glad you did). We’ve also got to vote with our pockets and pocketbooks, dig deep into our own hard-earned tip jar and buy some tickets. We’ve got to go see local theater and dance. Fork over the nine bucks admission price to see the absolutely PHENOMENAL watercolors by Mary Whyte now on display at the Gibbes (Working South, worth every penny—NOT to be missed! I’m telling you).


Tips, Mary Whyte, 2007: at the Gibbes Museum through September 9


And maybe most of us can’t afford an original Mary Whyte masterpiece, but many of us can spring for an original work by exceptionally talented local artists, such as those offered through Charleston Artist Collective, which gives 15 percent back to a local nonprofit (this month, to Charleston Moves, a personal favorite).


Up the Creek, Mary Hoffman:


Our local arts community survived Nikki Haley’s recent hatchet, but don’t let it succumb to a more painful, more personal pocket veto. Here’s what I’m doing: renewing my season subscription to Pure Theatre (check out their buy one, get one half-price July special); taking my kids to see A Long Time Ago… at the City Gallery before it closes July 29; doing some early Christmas shopping at Charleston Artist Collective; writing my representatives and telling them, “Thanks.” 


How will you cast your pocket vote?