In connection with a new venue for MAM, other questions wait to be addressed: Will the current museum board mandate the participation of artists in the articulation of the program that will guide the development of the building and grounds? Will artists be appointed to the committee selecting the architect(s)? Will there be a guaranteed collaboration of artists with architect(s) in the design of the building and "sculpture park"?

My "Museum of American Democratic Art: Tumbling Chairs" was not commissioned by the Center for the Fine Arts. The installation emerged as an artist-generated project in connection with the annual meeting of the National Association of Artists' Organizations in Miami Beach in 1994, where I was a keynote speaker. Beyond the "Tumbling" mode, the chairs can also be organized and "played" as "Circles of Cooperation" and "Gateways." The installation addresses art-world archetypes rather than specific individuals.

Many of us in the cultural community applaud Celeste Fraser Delgado's cogent and daring reporting and hope she will deliver followup articles on these energizing cultural developments.

César Trasobares

Miami Beach

All Aboard the Anti-Castro Gravy Train

It's pulling out of the station loaded with your tax dollars: Regarding Tristram Korten's article proposing to swap five imprisoned Cuban spies for jailed dissidents in Cuba ("Proposals with Punch," April 17), the Cuban-exile community has absolutely no credibility in Cuba, so I don't think having them initiate this plan would work. Also the U.S. government, which paid these "dissidents" with taxpayer money, doesn't give a hoot about them as people. They were just being used. The government doesn't care whether or not they get out of jail.

Then there's all the money, in the millions of dollars, coming from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and other government sources going to Freedom House and other exile beneficiaries. The exiles then purchase dissidents for a pittance and keep the rest of the money. The anti-Castro gravy train continues to flow and the recipients still don't have to get a job.

Patsy Behrend

San Francisco

Let the Pope Do It

He'll call it amnesty and everyone will be satisfied: In reference to Tristram Korten's "Proposals with Punch," here's an alternative proposal. Instead of a swap, why not a parallel amnesty. The Pope could ask both countries to provide amnesty for the five spies and the 78 dissidents in jail. The actual amnesty would be handled by Vatican representatives simultaneously -- same day, both countries.

Nelson P. Valdes

Duke University

Durham, North Carolina

Get Real!

The cop kept her job, so get over it: In reference to the story about the troubled female cop [Michelle Santinello] in Golden Beach ("Officer Trouble," Tristram Korten, December 12, 2002): Hello! Last time I checked you had to take a psych and poly test to become employed. So, obviously they are all lies. Get off her back. It's obviously a situation where a number of people are just jealous of her. I think those who were fired or so-called "pushed out" should quit feeling sorry for themselves and look in the mirror. You're out of a job for a reason. People don't get hired or fired for no reason. Or as you say "because someone does or doesn't like you." Get over it and move on. If you're not able to move on, I wonder why!

Brad Johnson

Golden Beach

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