CSPS cancels event featuring Amara Andrews after Cedar Rapids Mayor Brad Hart warns director of losing funds.
Hart says event would jeopardize hotel-motel tax funds he votes on to support the group.
As a three-way race for the city’s top elected role heats up, Mayor Brad Hart this week scolded a nonprofit arts venue leader for appearing to host a campaign event for a political rival — cautioning its director that public money he votes on to support the hall could be on the line if the show went on.
In a voicemail Hart left Wednesday for Taylor Bergen, executive director of CSPS Hall, the pioneering arts and cultural nonprofit, the mayor used profanity in taking issue with what he said was a violation of the group’s nonprofit status. The Gazette obtained and reviewed two recordings.
“Taylor, this is Brad Hart,” Hart said. “This event you are having on Friday is a violation of your 501(c) (3) status, and it significantly damages any possibility of CSPS getting any hotel-motel tax funds from the city in the future. It’s complete bullshit, and if you don’t know that you have violated your 501(c) (3) status, you should not be in the role you’re in.”