Friday, September 26, 2008

Tarts funding

Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's admission that "political direction" was involved in recent cuts to arts funding may be taken as a bit of a "gotcha" moment by an arts community eager to force an election issue.

But public arts funding has always been the result of political direction in the first place, from the usual optimistic practise of trading actual wealth for contingent electoral constituencies. Neither as an election issue nor on its own does arts funding exist for the benefit or interest of ordinary Canadians who have learned to pass by crap every day of the week with immunity.

If the arts community can actually compose an election issue to which ordinary Canadians will respond, it will have finally succeeded where its art has failed … a belated sign of genuine creativity, as it were, but hardly surprising from anyone when cold hard subsidies are on the line.

See also Edward Michael George and G.K. Chesterton, Further to "Artists":

No man ever wrote any good poetry to show that childhood was shocking, or that twilight was gay and farcical, or that a man was contemptible because he had crossed his single sword with three. The people who maintain this are the Professors, or Prigs.

1 Comment:

John Nicklin said...

I know a good number of artists who don't get a dime from the feds. they produce art that other people want to buy and they sell it. Its a business and "artists" should come to understand that.

Most of what is funded by federal coffers is funded because nobody wants it and nobody is willing to pay for it. So we all pay through taxes for works of marginal if any importance.

If an artist can't find a patron or can't otherwise sell his/her wares, they should find another line of work to pay the bills and dabble at their passion in their spare time.