In an email received Tuesday morning, former student body president Hogan Medlin responded to the article, ““Medlin’s arts plan remains stalled” published in the Sept. 6 print edition. Attempts to reach Medlin before Monday’s deadline were unsuccessful.
In the email, Medlin explained how efforts to raise seed money for the proposed Arts Innovation Fund during the summer holidays were ultimately unsuccessful.
“The money over the summer never fully came to be in the end due to the large budget cuts causing people to not only tighten their budgets, but slash them too,” Medlin wrote. “Campus donations just could not come through with an 18-percent budget cut.”
Medlin’s Arts Innovation Steering Committee had originally proposed the creation of an Arts Council to help administer the unrealized fund — which was given $20,000 in starting funds by an anonymous donation – but the administration of current student body president Mary Cooper did not move forward on the implementation process.
Members of the recently announced Carolina Creates initiative – itself an offshoot of a subcommittee of Chancellor Holden Thorp’s Student Innovation Team – offered cautious, posthumous praise for Medlin’s failed committee, calling it a kind of introductory process for many of their current artistic projects.
Despite the procedural failure of one of his administration’s biggest policy proposals, Medlin remained optimistic on what he sees as an important part of student life at the University.
“I do regret that our administration was faced with such bleak economic times when we were pushing forward such a big idea,” Medlin wrote. “I still believe that the Arts Fund can and should happen at Carolina – I will always stand by that – but I recognize that last year was just not the right time, despite our best efforts.
“I’m proud of how we led the revival of discussion surrounding the arts and how we energized dozens of student art groups to think bigger than just their organization to better UNC, not to mention the success of the CarolinaCreative celebration of the arts.
“Campus administration rarely, if ever, approached the arts before last year and now there is not only a presence of discussion surrounding where the arts are headed, but even in the midst of serious budget cuts, they are still on the table and moving forward from the efforts of the student body.”
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.