Let's quickly forget about the meaningless distinction between someone that dances and receives academic credit and someone that swings a bat and does not.
Let's also forget that our schools maintain facilities for both artistic and athletic pursuits.
Starting from here then, how do you think the public would react if the city of Olympia announced it was spending $4.4 million to upgrade a field at Yauger Park to a 1,500 seat capacity soccer stadium? Or, baseball stadium, I suppose (even though we'd never get a real minor league team here).
Under certain circumstances, a 4,000 seat baseball stadium could be had for around $4.3 million.
You think the public reaction would be supportive? Actually, I think the public reaction to a larger (much larger) athletic facility would be overall negative. Possibly very negative.
As opposed to $4.4 million spent on reburbing an existing arts center? Granted, we already own the Washington Center for the Performing Arts.
But, I think this imaginary distinction might tell you something about the nature of Olympia. Ken Balsley calls this elitism.
But, I wouldn't go that far. We have plenty of people around here that spend a lot of their time dedicated to sports. There are plenty examples of this sort of dedication, families at Black Hills FC, hundreds of kids turning out for Olympia Bears football.
The question is, in Olympia given $4 million in public funds, the most likely end result is something for the arts, not sports. And why is that?
I've been pondering it for days now, and I can't really give you a good answer.