A massive billboard depicting President Trump as a Nazi, wearing a Russian flag lapel pin and set against a backdrop of nuclear explosion clouds and dollar signs resembling swastikas, sparked outrage after it debuted in Phoenix last month.
The billboard was reportedly commissioned by an “arts advocate” and paid for, at least partly, by U.S. taxpayers in an effort to “diminish barriers,” according to records obtained by Judicial Watch.
The government watchdog group revealed Thursday that a local art gallery claiming ownership of the menacing billboard omitted the fact that public money was behind the project.
Media outlets also failed to report that taxpayer money contributed to the offensive billboard, and instead, hyper-focused on the billboard owner, Beatrice Moore, and the death threats that artist, Karen Fiorito, received after the controversial billboard was unveiled.
Moore’s alleged connections to the city and cash she received for her public art endeavors were also not reported by the media.
According to records from the city of Phoenix, Moore received thousands of dollars in grants for a program she runs called Grand Avenue Arts & Preservation (GAP), which is where the billboard is located.
Furthermore, the artwork was debated at a publicly funded annual local art celebration, Art Detour, which is an event put on by Artlink, a group founded by Moore in partnership with the city of Phoenix.
The publicly funded annual art celebration is touted as having “a diverse slate of activities created by local artists and art venues to celebrate the growing, vibrant Phoenix arts scene” and is described as “…one of the most important events in Phoenix’s calendar” by Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton.
Judicial Watch reported that the city of Phoenix granted Moore and her art companies $3,500 in July 2016, and then in August 2016, the 2017 Art Detour event received another $1,800.
Moore also commissioned Fiorito for the Trump billboard using “government grant monies,” including the Arizona Commission on the Arts, for “artists’ fees.”
The objectionable Trump billboard, which involves taxpayer money, doesn’t appear to promote a “growing, vibrant” art scene in the City of Phoenix and seems to fall short of Moore’s stated goal of “diminishing barriers” through art.
— Judicial Watch 🔎 (@JudicialWatch) May 11, 2017
H/T: Judicial Watch
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