It's become more apparent to me that art serves an important economic purpose. Time and again, you will see artists move in to low-rent, struggling neighborhoods because that's what they can afford. Often, a sort of urban, bohemian culture develops in these places, which eventually draws in the creative class and, as a result, money. Rent and real estate costs rise and, ironically, artists effectively force themselves out of these places because they just can't afford what they've taken part in creating. So on to the next project.
So it seems there could be an economic justification for a city investing in arts education. I think committed artists accept that they probably won't get rich. But if education is more available, it's something of a win-win.
Public arts projects also may provide a sort of incentive for this, and they can contribute to making places where the creative class wants to live.
If the government were to end the arts funding, then it would be like destroying our culture. Music, art, and literature, as well as food and clothing, make up our culture. By getting rid of all these things we are throwing about half of America's culture in the trash and leaving future generations with a loss of identity.
In his December 2008 article "No Bailout for the Arts?" Michael Kaiser, President of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts said that "Unlike other industries, the arts cannot cover the cost of inflation by improving worker productivity. This is why subsidies-- in the form of government grants or private contributions-- have long been required to help arts organizations balance their budgets."
I also appreciate that he acknowledges that the arts are a very necessary part of our economy and our education system. "As we reshape our economy, we are losing the organizations that teach our children to think creatively."
The arts enliven us, make us more profound thinkers, and indicate our humanity. They tell the great stories of history - and the great stories of the everyday. Because they are edifying, and because that edification comes in a variety of artistic forms (such as music, theatre, poetry, dance, painting or photography), our gross and fine motor skills develop when we engage in the arts. The arts are also form of communication, as necessary to communication as oral and written language, for the arts are languages. We communicate with other members of our species, homosapiens, through the arts. The arts keeps us from becoming drones.
The government should definitely support the arts, by providing funding for public museums and concert venues. Art is something that will last forever, and will act as a window to our time for future generations. There are too many "starving artists" who can't afford to pursue their art because there's no money in it.
Government should continue to subsidize the arts. Without government funding, the arts in this country could easily languish. Especially in difficult economic times like we are having now, the arts provides jobs for many people but without government subsidies, these fields would have to rely on philanthropy which has dropped precipitously since the economic recession began.
I am not a true "artistic" person as I was never exposed to such things as a child and did not grow up in a region with a lot of "culture." But I do believe it is necessary for a "well-rounded" community. I enjoy good pictures, good music, and good books, but none of what I enjoy can really be considered "culture." I have never been to the opera, the ballet, or to an art museum, so I do not have sufficient knowledge of these areas. But I do know that music can be very soothing, and books can provide wonderful relaxation. They take you away from your everyday life, and expose you to other cultures.
The arts are a broad field of study, just about anything outside of the deliberately destructive, such as combat. Even such diverse activities as plastic surgery and education can include art. Disallowing the arts can be used as a wedge to defund just about any project for political or adversarial issues. We have to allow the pure arts without any deliberate functionality to them to ensure that all useful arts are protected. Cultural workers are one population even though their activities may seem different at first glance.
Public art improves civic life, thus some subsidy from government, especially in the fields of architecture, parks and civic spaces is legitimate and desirable. This was done with bridges and picnic shelters, libraries and other structures during the 19830s, many of which are still useful and attractive. Government subsidies of massive writing projects such as the one done in the 1930s resulted in a tremendous outpouring of great work that we are still enjoying, along with the collection of stories and data that might have vanished otherwise. And there should always be support for civic music programs and children's programs.
The government should subsidize the arts. It's a tradition that most educated, wealthy countries have always done. Not too long ago, the NEA endowment cost sixty-four cents per person in the United States for the entire years. It's such a minimal amount to continue beauty and vision, especially as compared to military budgets.
The government is already trillions of dollars in debt. We can't possibly expect them to fund a private enterprise such as the arts. Even if they weren't broke, they have no right to take my money without my consent and give it to someone else!
Art is consumed mainly by the richest sectors of society, the sectors who would be most able to pay whether or not it was subsidized.
At the same time as we subsidize the rich by these donations to the arts, we tax other more productive industries which provide jobs to the working classes. The poorer elements of society are thus further damaged by this policy.
Art has been around for thousands of years before government subsidies were introduced and there is no reason to believe culture will die without it. The "culture" found in art galleries and theaters does not generally represent the culture that most people inhabit if they are not wealthy. The culture most people recognize is found in commercial settings in films and book which thrive perfectly well without subsidy.
The arts are not a necessity, the arts are garbage. Some art is good, but most of it is bad. I'm not paying taxes so the government can pay for some high school dropout to throw paint wildly on his canvas and call it modern art.
Art is not a necessity for living. Art is part of life. When the gov subsidizes and requires artistic expression it becomes the voice for the gov. Artists should learn to support themselves. If they can do it via art, all the better. Art expression doesn't make us more civilized, it just makes us human. Free art programs aren't free - someone always pays for it. I, and others, will support the artistic programs that I feel are good and beneficial - if I had control of my tax dollars - which we don't.
Now, I know that art is just about everything to some people, especially those whose living derives from it. But as adults, we have to resist the temptation to think that what we are individually doing is somehow the greatest thing since the proverbial first loaf of sliced bread and that therefore it must receive more than what people give it willingly (that is, that it should also get some of their money unwillingly through taxes). -Lawrence Reed
I like art. In fact, I'm a musician. It has, however, never crossed my mind that I should take other people's money to pay for it. Here's the deal: people pay more for what they want. If people don't pay enough for your art, then they don't want it enough. If you insist on producing it regardless, it should be at your personal expense; it's not up to you to tell people what to want, just how it's not up to anyone else to tell you how much you want their services, despite their strong conviction that their product or service "enliven" us or "indicate our humanity". To claim otherwise is unbelievably pretentious; just because you're passionate about art, doesn't mean you can impose your values on other people.
To address the "economic" argument that has been made by Michael Kaiser: most services are in the same position. I don't think barbers have been made more productive in a while, yet I don't see why we should offer them subsidies. Besides, anyone who has learned enough about inflation to think they can argue about it knows it doesn't change purchasing power (unless you have money sitting around and losing value, which isn't an artist's case apparently). If artists anticipate inflation, they should raise their prices, since that's what everyone else is doing; ultimately their revenue will be able to buy the same goods and services; if no one buys their art at that price, then people don't want it anymore. This argument is, at best, a fallacy, and at worst, an effort to obfuscate people into agreement.
The government should not subsidize the arts, because the arts are a private enterprise. Artists survived quite well during the Renaissance, without government subsidy, and they could survive just as well today. Private patronage is the proper subsidy for the arts. A conservative government will subsidize conservative artists, while a liberal government will only subsidize liberal artists. The arts should not be a political tool.
It is not the government's job to subsidize anything. If something is not succeeding without artificial involvement to make it more appealing, then it is something that is not meant to be. Art is having issues now because everything is becoming so expensive, and schools have to cut art classes and also can not afford good quality art, either. Subsidizing just creates a horrible circle of dependence that we need to get rid of.
The government should not subsidize the arts, anymore than it should subsidize any other business venture. The arts need to be able to stand on its own feet, just like any other undertaking and not expect the government to keep them going. If it needs help with funding, there is always the private sector to appeal to. Our nation has too many other pressing needs to deal with, and the arts are not necessary for our country's survival.
Art is about making something beautiful with the talents, abilities, and supplies one has. If someone else is assisting you in making art then it can not be pure art. For example, if someone helps you write a story, is it only your story? No, its both of your stories. There for the government should not subsidize art.