Friday, September 26, 2008

The Economic Argument in bullet form

After repeating them over and over again, I found myself reducing things to bullet points. Again, these are welcome to be stolen.

- These cuts removed all support for exporting our work. No other industry has been cut off at the knees like this

- The increase in funds was actually to sports and communities activities, which also fall under the "culture" banner. Arts support has been cut since Harper came to office

- Arts funding was introduced to make art available to the average Canadian and foster a national voice. If we charged you what the actual cost of producing the work was, we would only be available to the rich

- The dirty secret of arts funding is that private investors will not commit until they see the government has. So any discussion about getting artists off the supposed "government teat" has to deal with this reality

- Our product is competitive internationally but other countries artists have way more government support

- Government funding is never more than 40% of a project

- Artists get funding from family, friends, sales revenue and unless they have established a reputation, not much else. Investors gravitate towards the larger organizations because they get a bigger bang for their buck.

- The successful artists live a middle-class lifestyle (unless they become a rock star). the struggling one hovers around the poverty line.


Linda said...

Hi MK,

Thanks for dropping by with your side of the story. I'm hoping to generate a real discussion on the issues at stake here, so I welcome your input. I've just featured your comment in my most recent post, so please do stop by again. Cheers!

serene sky said...

When a government cuts funding for the arts, often the arts groups form consortiums and develop an outreach plan to locate new funding sources among private foundations. Corporate foundations give to arts groups if there are tax breaks, especially companies that are doing well and otherwise expect to pay the same taxes to the government. If the government reduces their tax liability when they give to charitable organizations that support the arts, funding remains in the private sector of the economy.

During the industrial revolution in the United States, there were a few very wealthy industrialists and a much larger, poorer working class majority. Congress decided to give them an incentive to share the wealth by reducing their tax liability in exchange for corporate giving to private charitable and community foundations. This enabled people from the poorer and middle classes to complete college educations and improve their career options over generations, and still does.