It seems some Phoenix folks are proud to display utter hatred and blatant disrespect to President Trump. The Southwest city used tax dollars for an “arts advocate” to hire an artist to create a Nazi-undertone billboard featuring the president. This project was done to “diminish barriers.”
Upon its mid-March opening to the public in downtown-Phoenix proper, it availed President Trump juxtaposed with clown-faced mushroom clouds and swastika-like dollar symbols—as well as the president’s lapel donning a Russian flag.
This political art sits at Grand Avenue & Taylor Street. Apparently, it’s to stay up until President Trump’s reign is over. Additionally, the owner, Grand Avenue Arts & Preservation Director Beatrice Moore dismissed tax money spent on the effort. While it has gained much media attention, none have availed the underlying point of local taxes being the main, monetary contributor. But they’ve emphasized Moore being its commissioner and owner—a local, well-known supporter for Grand Avenue’s art.
However, Phoenix and Moore’s relationship (mainly the fiscal aspect) never seem to emerge publicly. The media has also mentioned the various threats on political-art-billboard-artist Karen Fiorito’s life. Local news wrote on the installation being part of Phoenix’s yearly art festival—Fiorito intentionally meant to instigate chaos. (She asked for it; she got it.)
Even Big Media neglected to mention the aforementioned tax-dollars aspect. The Washington Post basically amplified Fiorito’s hate art. It went further to feature Fiorito’s Facebook post in which she refers to pro-Trumpers as “scumbags” and considers the nation to be on a “very dangerous path” with the end result being “total annihilation.” CBS Los Angeles pontificated on the aforementioned threats and Fiorito’s art contextualization stating it “represents global destruction, warfare and annihilation of the planet.” Her dollar signstikas symbolize “corporate power and greed and how our society has become all about money and corporatism,” Fiorito added in her statement.Sour
To better investigate the tax-dollars issue, and not long after the billboard’s unveiling, upon Judicial Watch’s acquisition of public information, it was discovered Phoenix gave Nazi-Trump billboard owner Moore thousands of dollars in grants that went toward her Grand Avenue Arts & Preservation organization, which plays umbrella to Art Detour (the event that hosted Fiorito’s unveiling). The annual festival is known as “a diverse slate of activities created by local artists and art venues to celebrate the growing, vibrant Phoenix arts scene.” Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton thinks it’s “…one of the most important events in Phoenix’s calendar.” Moore also launched Art Detour production-group Artlink—assisted by Phoenix. The city’s former-Deputy City Manager Rick Naimark is a member of Artlink’s board of directors.
In July, 2016, alone, the city donated $3,500 to Moore’s array of city-paid creative endeavors—according to public information. This includes March 2017’s Art Detour festival. Phoenix gave $1,800 to Moore’s Art Detour 2017. Phoenix called her quasi-protégé, Fiorito, an “artist, community organizer and arts advocate.” Apparently, funds stem from “government-grant monies”—such as the Arizona Commission on the Arts. But the cash goes toward “artists’ fees.” Further, Moore’s latest public-funded discovery (re: the anti-Trump installation) does not necessarily convey a “growing, vibrant” creative component to Phoenix. Ultimately, it fails at perpetuating Moore’s mission statement: “…diminishing barriers…” via artistic efforts.