Regarding your article "Long Beach Art Museum Declares Independence" (Sept. 26), as an artist and educator residing in Long Beach, I am extremely skeptical that the move of the museum from a public to quasi-private entity would be the long-term correct course of action.
It does not take much imagination to see that this move has great potential for making an already elitist entity into one even more so. I would also like to point out that in all probability the large part of the private funding will come from big business in the area. If there is a problem in America with the military-industrial complex, there is just as surely a problem with an art-industrial complex.
Why can't the city of Long Beach, that purports to be "The International City," support the arts from its tax base? A European city of the same size would have many museums of stature, a symphony orchestra, ballet and resident theater group supported totally from the general taxes of the area. Why can't Long Beach?
The general reason would seem to be a lack of commitment by a part-time City Council that is dominated by a city bureaucracy more concerned with selling the city to outside developers than with changes that would lead to improvements in the present residents' quality of life. This whole change at the Long Beach Art Museum smacks of Reaganomics' trickle-down theory applied to the arts. It is shortsighted and needs to be reassessed.