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[Requesting Review:] Art and Funding

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Joined: 15 Jul 2017
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[Requesting Review:] Art and Funding [#permalink] New post 16 Jul 2017, 01:59

Some people believe that government funding of the arts is necessary to ensure that the arts can flourish and be available to all people. Others believe that government funding of the arts threatens the integrity of the arts.

The subject of government funding of the arts is a debatable issue and highly sensitive to the specifics of the country in mind. It would be foolish to generate funding for the arts when there are other more pressing needs to be addressed. In a city that is lacking in adequate healthcare facilities or infrastructure, funding art would be detrimental.

However, a city renowned for its art and culture might greatly benefit from the government’s investment in art so as to generate revenue from tourism. Such is the case in cities like Salzburg and Vienna. As a great portion of their income is from tourism, a great amount of artistic activity is encouraged and funded by the government. Street artists and musicians are highly cherished and provided for and all this contributes to an overall positive tourism experience.

Even less developed countries can benefit greatly from funding in art. Sometimes this might also be a matter of moral significance. In South India, several traditional artisans and craftsmen depend on their craft for livelihood. Not only is it a matter of their personal sentiment, but their artwork carries legacies of tradition dating back to 10th century AD. No doubt they would benefit greatly from government assistance. Reviving these arts would be a matter of great cultural significance which would no doubt generate foreign interest in India.

Historians have stressed on the importance of art in understanding a society. Had the rulers of the earlier generation not invested sufficiently in the flourishing of art, we would have lost a large portion of our knowledge about their cultures. Art reflects the attitude of a society in ways that other medium cannot capture.

There are certain puritanical viewpoints that funding would be detrimental. This may be due to the romanticised notion of a starving artist. The widespread picture of an artist eschewing comfort and conformance in favour of highly individualistic and inspiring work, is not sustainable in reality. I believe that government funding can in fact promote artistic integrity. An craftsmen who is financially better off is more likely to be able to produce meaningful art that does not cater to a specific style preferred by his benefactors.

However, the influence of an external force, particularly one as powerful as the government, might lead to a certain control over the content produced. The government could censor artwork that expresses views it does not endorse. It would be dangerous to underestimate the influence of art and advertisement upon people. There have been several studies that highlight the subliminal impact of art and advertisement on the minds of the viewer. An institution that controls it could covertly affect the society.

It is therefore important to strike a balance, to ensure that the arts flourish while preserving their autonomy.
[Requesting Review:] Art and Funding   [#permalink] 16 Jul 2017, 01:59
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[Requesting Review:] Art and Funding

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