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Photo of 909 Texas St.: Marc Longoria via Swamplot Flickr Pool
Harmony in the Air is actually really awesome and is a better Houston promotion than other things. I just got back from a trip w/ various layovers and Hobby airport (and the live music) really set us apart from others. Our flight was delayed and “Harmon in the Air” was an awesome break while waiting for the flight.
Airport music–“The $3 million for the program will come from airline fees, not taxes.” And who pays the airlines fees, consumers. Just another fee we wouldn’t have to pay. This is ridiculous.
City council has regularly with minimal debate given over hundreds of millions of dollars in tax deals to developers to build luxury multifamily and other projects in the city that make millions of dollars in profits. But when a very small program that helps fund local arts organizations and makes our not so great airports more attractive comes up for a vote, city council suddenly is up in arms over spending priorities. Why? Because it is always easy to pick on the arts. They have no lobbyists and no big campaign donors. So, HISD trustees look at a budget full of administrative fat and immediately start crowing about HSPVA. And city council gives away millions to private interests and gets all flustered about throwing some money to local arts groups to make the airport nicer.
Harmony in the Air is a really nice program. A little bit of a soft touch at the airport is great PR for the city; it’s the first and last impression that a traveler to Houston may remember. In Santa Fe last weekend, they had “welcome” dogs for visitors to pet as they arrived. Cute. And a nice vibe to start of the trip. Little touches like that are not expensive and make a positive impression for our city. I’m glad Harmony was renewed.
Re: Harmony in the Air
I’d say I was surprised by the $3 million over 3 years price tag because I never knew its cost before. But, I’d agree that it is a nice touch to gussy up an airport space.
By comparison, I like flying out of PDX (Portland, OR) and remember that it has local musicians who set up in various spots and play music. They collect tips and sell CDs of their works but I don’t know if they also get paid by the city or if they pay rent for the privilege. All in all, it was a great diversion.
While $1 million per year seems like a lot, I’d say it was a tiny amount for a full year performance at the airports. Plus, we squander so much larger cash so many other things – I’d let this one by easily.
$3 million for airport music? Have you ever tried to get on a conference call between flights when the music starts? I’d rather see them spend $3m on building a business lounge at Hobby. If you want music, bring your headphones.
@ Txcon: No one ever said on their deathbed: “I wished I spent more time on conference calls between flights.”
If COH wants to subsidize the arts, live music at the airport is a great way to do it. Seriously.
Ghost, true but very weird take. Extra airport scrutiny for ghost from now on.
Ghost, no one also ever says, boy am I glad I heard that cello rendition of Lady Gaga before my flight to Orlando.