Rhode Island has a well-earned reputation as a haven for artists, thanks in no small measure to the 10 arts districts created in nine of the state’s municipalities.
Arts districts offer artists who live in them sales and income tax advantages, while also giving galleries sales tax breaks if they are located within the district’s confines.
In the just-concluded legislative session, Wickford, an artists’ enclave if ever there was one, had hoped to join this exclusive club when the state Senate passed legislation designating an arts district. But the House never followed up, so now the opportunity is lost for another year.
Whatever the reason, the idea that the home of the Wickford Arts Festival, an event that is celebrating a 50-year anniversary this summer, could not be included in this economic boon to artists and galleries alike is unfathomable.
It’s a simple thing to rectify this oversight as soon as the 2013 legislative session opens, which would make the 51st anniversary a very special one indeed. •