Cutting back on government-funded “culture?” Say it ain’t so!

I have never believed tax dollars should be spent for plays, paintings, movies, or other assorted “arts” features. I believe the NEA should be defunded, have a stake driven through its heart, its mouth stuffed with garlic, and then buried at a crossroad in a distant land…say, Siberia. I believe the same thing should happen at the local level. Now that that confession is out of the way…

I read in the WaPo that the British are calling for major cuts (up to 40%) in government-subsidised arts and culture programs and institutions. There are MANY in TheYarts who are having massive hissies and panic attacks, as they learn the Government Tit is drying up.

The prospect of such a drastic rollback is sparking an anxious debate over the duty of government to foster the arts in the land of Shakespeare.

Panicked curators, artistic directors and art critics are warning of London’s potential fall from the vanguard of the global arts scene. In danger, for instance, are the same government-funded institutions that helped produce such films as “The Last King of Scotland” and “The Constant Gardener” as well as Broadway- and Hollywood-bound stage works such as “Jerusalem” and “War Horse.” The Royal Shakespeare Company has warned that it might be forced to scale back or do away with international productions altogether.

How about cutting off funding to everyone EXCEPT the Royal Shakespeare Company?

The cuts would be more than a temporary fix. Officials are calling for a permanent shift toward the U.S. model of private philanthropy as the main benefactor of the arts, upending a tradition of government sponsorship that helped produce the likes of Academy Award-winning directors Sam Mendes and Danny Boyle and playwrights including Lee Hall, who was nominated for an Oscar for “Billy Elliot.”

The move underscores the profound changes in the role of government that are taking place from Greece to Spain to Britain. It happens as European nations scramble to rein in runaway spending, in part by slashing public funds to sectors that came to survive — even thrive — because of them.

Yeah, G-d knows we can’t live without a play in which the Pope abuses an altar boy – through “interpretive dance.” Any intelligent human knows that’s MUCH more important and valuable than…oh, I don’t know…maybe letting the taxpayers keep more of their own money? To spend as they see fit?

I need a shower.



  1. swampie · · Reply

    If THAT ain’t a sore spot for me, too! It shouldn’t be the taxpayer’s job to support some talentless yahoo who fingerpaints with excrement and calls it “art”. Particularly when said taxpayer’s house is bare of art save that hanging on the door of the fridge because he/she can’t afford it.

    I like to do bad paintings, too, but that doesn’t mean that I expect people to support me while I do it. I can’t count the times I’ve wandered through a show of things like “mixed media: Acrylic, shoelaces, and nails” and walked out, shaking my head in wonder at the high price of ugly.

    1. I have NEVER understood taxpayer-funded “arts.” Art – in my opinion – is subjective, a matter of OPINION. That’s something Government at ALL levels should stay the hell out of! IF you can find enough people to pay you for what you do, wondermous. If not, ya just need to find a ‘real’ job.

      Government-funded “art” is nothing more than government-funded elitism.

      That said, I’d love to see some of your painting, because I may have a free space to hang something that I LIKE!

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