Arts Funding – What’s Your Opinion?


I read an interesting article in the Telegraph this morning on funding in the Arts.  As part of my course I have to consider how music impacts on society so I found this article quite appropriate at the moment.   If Arts organisations can’t prove they benefit the UK economy they face having their public funding withdrawn warns the Culture Secretary Maria Millar MP.  My Dad is very practical and business minded so he would probably say this is necessary for tax payer support and investment in the Arts but I can understand why this “is bound to provoke anger in the arts world” as Peter Dominiczak the Political Correspondent writes because Art isn’t just about dividends to me it’s about purpose, beauty, feelings and a healthy society enriched by beautiful sounds and objects to see and touch.

I’m trying my best to self fund a singing trip to Italy with a small group from the Conservatoire, I’ve saved enough doing office work in my Christmas and Easter break for the Easy Jet fares and between now and June I need to save for expenses over there, so I’m going to economise with my weekly allowance, cook cheaper meals, fortunately I don’t like alcohol so much.  So I guess when the Treasury is telling Maria Millar her department has big cuts in her grants for spending it will be tough deciding where to cut.

The article says “Leading cultural figures including Danny Boyle and Sir Nicholas Hytner have attacked the cuts and warned that Britain’s status as a world leader in culture is at risk”.   Maria Millar is expected to say “Government will only fund “participants – not bystanders” in the Arts and that “in an age of austerity, when times are tough and money is tight, our focus must be on culture’s economic impact…we must demonstrate the healthy dividends that our investment continues to pay – I need all your help in that endeavour”.  Finally the article quotes her saying “Like in so many other areas, I believe we tread a happy middle path between the American model, based on benefactor-funding, and the European approach, based on state subsidy,” she will say. “Our system encourages risk-taking, but discourages complacency.”

Mrs Miller wants Arts organisations to focus on getting philanthropic donations to supplement their funding.  So on this theme Mum!  Dad!  Are you reading?  Feeling philanthropic 😉 ?

Seriously though, if they do cut funding who can the Arts rely on?  If we are to become more commercially orientated then we will need to use the funding from State subsidies to reach larger audiences and encourage those audiences to engage with the Arts or risk losing access to them.

UPDATE 13th June 2013

I read an interesting article today in the Guardian online by Charlotte Higgins titled Arts groups warned they face total loss of funding.  In the article Charlotte Higgins says “It’s a philosophical question of whether you want to preserve England’s artistic heritage or support innovation. There are strong lobbies  both ways within the Arts Council and it will go to the wire.”   Click here for the Arts Council website.

98 thoughts on “Arts Funding – What’s Your Opinion?

  1. I want one of them money trees in my garden! I’ve been trying to grow one for years but we don’t seem to have the climate!?

  2. Thanks for visiting my blog–thought I’d head over here to read some of your posts. This is an on-going discussion in the US today, especially in the public schools. The problem is defining “healthy dividends.” While I assume they mean financial, life can not be that narrowly defined or we risk becoming a nation of cows herded all in the same direction. Science and art are investments, not because of the money they can bring in, but because they lift us out of our narrow focus into worlds and thoughts and feelings that can raise humanity up in other valid ways. A pack of candy bought at a grocery store might harm me–fat, blood sugar swings, etc., whereas attending a concert can inspire me, lift my mood and connect me to other people and places so that I am a better person.

    1. Hi Cate

      I sing because I have a deep passion for doing so and enjoy it beyond words. I perform because I want to share this joy and enthusiasm for the music with as many people as possible. Your comments are so true, why does everything have to be measured by it’s financial return. To raise someone’s spirits at the end of a performance is such a wonderful feeling and one that I hope will be part of my life for a long time to come.

      I was fortunate to have an excellent music teacher at the State school I attended and with his help I was able to progress and develop my love of music and singing in particular. I have no answer to the problem of Arts funding but I do hope that music is not written off within our education system here in England as I believe it has so much more to offer.

      By the way I visited your website and was thrilled to see that you are a vocal teacher and found your site very informative.

      Best Wishes

    2. If, as you say: “Science and art are investments… because they lift us out of our narrow focus into worlds and thoughts and feelings that can raise humanity up in other valid ways” (and I fully agree with the premise), they are also, therefore, dangerous to the status quo, which is why the philistines in charge of these decisions wish to curtail and ration access to both.

      1. This will be an on-going issue for many years to come so thanks for your contribution to my question and I appreciate you taking the time to come and visit my site. Come back soon.


  3. You might be interested in a recent interview with Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky on this theme. He’s talking specifically about cinema (the interview was for Variety Russia), but this bit caught my eye:

    “The artist has a right to create what he or she wants. But if you want state money, you must conform to certain criteria to receive it. We support not only socially important cinema. We support documentaries, debuts, a lot of animation and experiments. But let us be honest: if you want to make a film that says that Russia is a horrible place to live, and the only option is to fly away, don’t ask the state for money! It is impossible to prevent people from feeling this way and making films about it, but Culture Ministry will no longer offer money for this.” – full interview, which also includes some interesting thoughts about Braveheart and the way historical drama can forge national pride 🙂

    1. Thanks Andy

      I had a quick look at the article and will read it properly later on this evening. I must remember these basics next time I put a recital together 🙂 Maybe I should take a leaf out of Danny Boyle’s book from the Olympic Opening Ceremony and come up with a set of uplifting songs that tick all the boxes 🙂

      Best Wishes

  4. “Culture is at risk” is putting it mildy. The arts suffer in every level of the US now, from K-12 to the top end performers. I think, I hope, there will always be money available for the high level arts, but I worry about the planting of the creativity seed in our schools. When money’s tight, arts classes are the first to go, leaving kids on their own. Imagination must be nurtured!

    1. This is one of the problems that we face here in the England. There is more at stake than just the cost, a whole generation will miss out on the enjoyment and self confidence that the arts can bring. I hope that the Government understand the holistic benefits that the arts can bring to the lives of children. I was fortunate in that I was able to study both academic subjects and the arts side by side and feel that in doing so it has given me a fantastic foundation to pursue my dreams. In a modern world where good communication skills are so important the self confidence that the performing arts provide young people should not be undervalued.

      Best Wishes

  5. I was amazed when I moved to Northern Ontario that there is no music teacher at any of the seven schools in our town of about 5,000. Children are put on a bus and taken to a larger town about an hour away for a music class. No demand, no supply. No supply, no demand. That’s economic apathy.
    It’s a shame the public at large was not exposed enough to music – a renaissance of the private patron would be welcome! In “an age of austerity”, people need beauty. Too bad we’re forgetting how to see in colour.
    Thanks for your thoughts on this.

    1. Hi Josh, I totally agree with you if children are not exposed to classical music how do they know if they like it or not? I myself only became enthused by it from the age of 12 having been introduced to it by my vocal coach, Jayne Wilson.

      Best Wishes

  6. Hi Charlotte, thanks so much for introducing yourself by following our site. This is such an important conversation–it’s clear that the Arts have enormous social importance but support for them at all levels is constantly at risk in many parts of the world. It’s great that there are so many different funding options now that don’t depend as much on pubic funds: kickstarter and other similar private micro investment systems are perfect examples. Good luck with the singing trip–we look forward to hearing more about it!

    1. Thanks for your thoughts I am constantly searching for ways to fund my performances, training and dresses 🙂 ( for performances of course ). I work during my holidays to build up extra funds which in turn allow me to take on performance opportunities many of which our for charities and unpaid. But the experience they provide me with is fantastic. I will continue to explore the options available to me and any suggestions of avenues to follow to help fund my early years would be appreciated.

  7. Funding is so important. Thank goodness there are still communities that support the arts. I am an artist/writer. I volunteer teaching art to a group of seniors every week. I pay for supplies, snacks, materials out of my pocket. I often sell my artwork to fund my spending. Doesn’t come close, but helps. Good luck to you.

    1. Thanks for sharing your views with us Toni. I am sure that the work that you do brings a great deal pleasure to the people that you work with so I hope that you are able to keep it up 🙂 Please come back and visit again.

      Best Wishes

  8. Charlotte, thanks for checking out my site, and congrats on your new one. I imagine it was the words “opera” and “Wagner” in one of my posts that ended up linking you there; sorry I’m not much of a fan of either. 🙂 Anyway, regarding arts funding — I don’t myself disbelieve in it, but I want to offer an opposing viewpoint.

    First off: it seems to me that it’s a trifle disingenuous for the likes of you and me (art musicians — you, an art-music singer, and me, a conductor of instrumental-ensemble art music) to advocate public funding for what we seek to do *for gainful employment.* We have vested interests! It’s not that I deny the inspirational value of music and other arts to lift culture. I do believe those things, in general. It’s just that we should acknowledge our personal dependence on money in order to continue in our artistic avenues. Full disclosure such as this may turn off some donors, but it’s open and honest!

    Second: just like the military recruiter who tricks 18-year-old boys into signing up and begs the government for untold millions for a politically based war, and like the Roman Catholic priest who decries the lack of altar boys and wannabe priests to perpetuate his abhorrent system, we must acknowledge that certain jobs within the arts are in existence for no other reason than to turn out *more people like us* so that our own systems may continue. Even other forms of Christianity (that are more biblically based than the Roman institution) can be found to be self-perpetuating more than serving, and we musicians who apply for public funding to support our professions probably ought to be open about our desire to bolster ourselves conceptually by seeing to the continuity of what we do. This is another “full disclosure” aspect that is more about activity than about funding.

    Third: I must admit that there are more pressing needs, in this age, than exposing the masses to my favorite wind band composer and educating them on the intrinsic worthiness of my chosen art form — evoking higher, artistic, musical sounds based on nonverbals from the conductor. Local agency grants have recently enabled an orchestra I serve in multiple capacities, but there is a side of me that wonders about this allocation of funds when homeless people are dying on the streets in the cold months and our tax bills keep going up.

    Don’t get me wrong: I love art music and believe it deserves a place in developed societies. (Aside: I am often appalled at the attention and money thrown at so-called artists who can’t do much more than hold a microphone and get somewhere near the pitch before the studio “doctoring” of their weak vocal sounds.) I just wanted to offer “the other side” for sake of discussion.

    1. Hi Brian

      Thanks for the alternative view on this important question. Though I agree that as a professional artist ( if I am lucky to become one ) I will need to find a way to make a living from my passion for singing; I do believe that education in the arts should be supported in our schools from an early age. The benefits from exploring a child’s creative side should not be underestimated.

      I do appreciate your comments and thanks for taking the time to drop by and share them with me.

      Best wishes

      1. Thanks for the reply. If you’re primarily advocating arts education *for school-age children,* that is less a question for me. I believe in that, within financial reason. I just came from a visit in an area in which school taxes are inestimably heavy (like more than 10% of the average single, annual income!).

        I think it’s more of the *post-academia* arts funding that I find questionable. Not wrong, mind you, but questionable. More philhantropists and fewer taxes would be a good goal for professional organizations. Plus, we have the problem, in my view, of the definition of art. As a musician, I think true music education (not pop-based) is of more value than learning about so much contemporary art or theater, for instance, but I’d be hard-pressed to prove my opinions.

        Hey, couldn’t we solve the problem if all the super-rich (so-called artist entertainers, sports celebrities, financial tycoons, etc.) were required to give half their income to a mix of hunger and housing initiatives, arts education in schools, and the like?! 🙂

  9. I hope that the education that I receive and the people and their opinions that I encounter on my journey to becoming a professional singer keep me grounded and appreciative of others and their needs. Thanks again Brian for your input.

    Kindest Regards

  10. Hi Charlotte, thanks for visiting my blog and now I’m following you! Arts funding is a subject close to my heart and, having worked in the arts in the UK and the US for the past twenty years, I have a lot to say on the subject 🙂 Out of respect for your site I will keep some of my more radical opinions to myself! However, I will say this… as a recipient of a number of Arts Council grants which I received at a crucial point in my career, I am truly grateful for the financial assistance I received to develop my writing and production skills. There are times… especially early in our careers when our voices and talents need nurturing, mentoring and a safe space in which to experiment and be with others with similar aims and be part of a supportive artistic community. The public benefit is that we grow as fulfilled individuals, and there’s a very good chance that we will have the desire to give back to our communities if we are free of the pressure to self-finance our art. All best wishes for your artistic endeavours. Kindest regards, Michele

    1. Hi Michele, having read several of your posts I was really pleased that you took the time to drop by and share your experiences with me. One of the best things about blogging is the number of people who you come across, sometimes quite by accident that can provide you with help and inspiration. I take every opportunity in-between my studies to work and save towards my education as I understand to reach my goal will not be easy. Every day I read about people like yourself who persevered and remained focused achieving great things in their chosen fields and this in turn gives me the confidence to carry on. Whether the funding is there or not I will give it my best shot.

      Thanks for visiting and come back soon.


  11. All cultures are only as rich as their ‘Artists’ be it through art, writing or music.Through the Artists we are able to invoke thought, make political statements or simply allow ourselves to reflect and get in touch with all our emotions

    1. James, this is a succinct statement, and I agree, mostly. 🙂 My caveat would be that political statements and goals are generally far beneath the capacities of true art!

      As long as all of us artists realize and acknowledge that we are, to some extent, *serving ourselves* by advocating public funding, I think such funding is a good idea.

  12. For some inexplicable reason Dicken’s Hard Times springs to mind, “Give those children facts”, there is no room for art because, after all it does not propel the wheels of commerce. Let us put our shoulder to the great wheel of commerce and consign Shakespeare and the other great cultural figures to the dustbin of history. I do, of course have my tongue firmly in my cheek.

  13. Arts funding is under attack in the United States by those who think the Arts are “frivolous” rather than integral to the nation’s soul. THANKS for subscribing to my funny-caption photoblog, I hope I can bring you a smile (or at least a groan) every weekday.
    –John R.

    1. Hi John, sometimes a little humour helps 🙂

      As for Arts funding I think this debate will continue for many years to come. I have loved my time studying the Arts and could not imagine an education system where it no longer exists.

      Best wishes

  14. While the United States is not a very generous country when it comes to government support of the arts (more taxpayer money is spent on military bands than all the other arts combined) it is still significant. The drips and drabs from the Feds, the States and through charitable deductions (revenues foregone) amount to a decent chunk. But to make the arts justify themselves on an economic basis, while possible, is to play their game, instead of recognizing their true role in a cultured and educated society.

    1. Thank you Larry for visiting my blog and finding the time to leave your comments. I am just finishing my first year of studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and find the advice and commentary given by people like yourself invaluable in helping me better understand the world in which I want to make a career in. I find reading through the many blogs that I have found interesting and enlightening, I enjoyed reading the “About” page on your blog ( )and I hope that my involvement in the Arts lasts as long as yours 🙂

      Best wishes

  15. Without culture and the arts, how can the education of our children be complete? If our governments will not or can not support the arts, it’s up to individuals to keep our culture and arts alive. I commend you on your talents, best wishes in your career.

    1. Hi Dayne, thanks for your thoughts and best wishes. I hope that through my performances I can in some small way encourage others to participate.

      Thanks for coming over and I hope that you return again soon.
      Best wishes

  16. As long as their is civility, there will be art and art has a purpose which will always find support in one form or another, it could be private or public. However, I agree that the arts need more public sponsorship, we should not look to the government to solely sustain the longevity of the arts.

  17. “Art” is, first and foremost, a controversial concept: I, for example, have a hard time with thousand-dollar paintings that consist of different colored splatterings on a canvas. While I do not dispute the artistic merit of this sort of work (some derive great pleasure and value from studying them), I do understand how a great many might see it as a waste, both of time and money. On an individual basis, this isn’t a problem: I can visit a gallery and choose not to spend my money on works that don’t appeal to me. When the government gets involved, though (our version in the US is the National Endowment for the Arts), it becomes more difficult to exercise individual choice, since taxes are mandatory and pretty much go where they go.

    I think there is value in collective support of the arts (just as I believe research for the sake of research is important), and I think economic effect is a fairly poor criterion for deciding what’s funded and what is not, but I understand those who believe otherwise…

  18. I live in a community that was once employed predominantly by factories, and then… well, you know what happened to US manufacturing. Downtown became an embarrassing row of abandoned shanties & squats: suitable only for homebums, crackheads, and anyone who might feel like getting robbed that day.

    And then the arts & culture movement happened.

    Now, it’s home to several thriving bars–many of which host shows, galleries, and poetry readings–and a monthly “First Thursday” event, wherein artists from all around the city come to showcase work. Twice a year, downtown has a neighborhood-wide arts sale, where all artists sell their wares (anything from chapbooks to crafts to paintings) for $40 or less.

    The Muncie Downtown arts & culture movement started after the city began doing things like they’re doing in Detroit: writing grants, selling shanty-shack properties for stupidly low rates, etc. But, mind you, there -wasn’t- a lot of money to go around. A third of Muncie’s population is unemployed. Moreover, much of the town lacks an interest in or awareness of the arts & culture movement. Despite these setbacks, all different types of artists from all around the community have made do.

    So, you ask, “Is arts funding important?” I say, “Yes, and ‘funding’ is a daunting word to use.” The real “funding” comes in sheer strength in numbers, trying, and seeing what the arts can do for people. I’ve been working with (and helping found) an independent poetry collective for the past several months; we put on once-monthly readings at a downtown bar. I’m looking forward to having my own stand at our twice-yearly art sale.

    Sometimes I hate living somewhere so broke, and being so broke, but then I remember: “funding” doesn’t have to be this scary, daunting word when it comes to arts. I love it here, and the artists I’ve met. Our arts community is both-at-once unpretentious -and- doing great things for the city at large. If anyone has anything bad to say about funding something so “esoteric” as the arts, take a look at some photos of Muncie, Indiana from the turn of the century, and compare it to ones from today. Look me in the face and tell me that it’s “not worth it.”

    P.S. Thanks for scoping my blog! I’m looking forward to reading yours. =]

    1. Thanks Helen for taking the time to make me aware of this, there is a very high youth unemployment in Europe at the moment anywhere from 20 to 60% and the 16-25 age group are going to have to find their own solutions to job insecurity and earnings potential. I am very conscious I can’t rely on my parents for the rest of my life and I am encouraged by communities that collaborate in the way you’ve described. I think people are going to have to take the initiative for themselves and I will be searching for ways to help to reduce my student loans over the next three years.

      Best of luck with you stand and the poetry readings 🙂

      1. Good on ya, Charlotte. Thanks for the encouragement. Many American youths are in the same position: high debt, high interest rates; low jobs, low income. In Muncie it’s less of a “broke-millennials” issue and more of a “Well, all the industry is gone, so we’re just going to live off unemployment and live like every American poor stereotype you can think of” culture. Few of us rely on our parents for much support because few of us can.

        But, man, whatever–at least we’ve got art.
        And art shouldn’t be accessible by debit card only.
        That’s all there is to it.

      2. Hi Helen, I love your thinking and the “Do Something Positive” approach that you have. Sometimes you just can’t wait for someone else to fix the problem, you have to join in and try for yourself. That is why I got involved with Youth Positive to help present a positive image of young people working together in their own communities.

        Best Wishes

  19. I’m a little nervous about saying it, because it does make artists annoyed, understandably – but I feel that funding of art should come from the people who enjoy it, directly – either wealthy consumers of art, or hoi polloi. Otherwise, bureaucrats decide what people ‘should’ like (but often don’t).

    1. Here everyone is entitled to their opinion so thanks for posting your thoughts. I like to consider all points of view before drawing any conclusions for myself.

      Best Wishes

    2. I actually agree with you. Here’s my thing: I think art is for -everyone-, and–in the USA–especially for people of low income, because low-income people are vulnerable to just getting taught by corporate consumer culture to spend money on lousy things. A sliding scale system for art is something that I’ve been interested in coming up with: something where a low-income art consumer can enjoy the same quality a high-income consumer can, because the high-income consumer is paying for it. Y’know? Because if I was rich, that’d be my luxury item: LPs, chapbooks, band merch, paintings, everything from independent artists.

      1. Hi Helen, I would just love it to be so simple 🙂 The Arts should be for everyone to participate in both as contributors and enthusiastic onlookers.

        Best wishes

  20. In the states, there is a monumental amount of funding for sports at every age, starting in grade school and continuing of course, to the highly overpaid sports teams. Art is something, that while subjective, cannot be denied that whatever its form, it encourages thought, creativity, thinking outside the box, making your own rules. There is nothing that deserves more funding than that. There is nothing that begs for our help more.


    1. Hi Julie, I agree that the Arts provide us with such a diverse range of skills that brighten our lives and bring joy to so many people from different cultures and backgrounds.

      Best Wishes

  21. Tough one. I guess the struggle to get some funding shows in most cases only the persistance of the person who seeks it and not the talent that is to be funded. As such, and since art is permitted, created and enjoyed only when you have solved all other issues, like food, clothing and shelter, I find that in the end of the day it is only when you don’t even care about funding that you find the true meaning of art.

    1. Thanks for joining in the debate and sharing your thoughts with me. Getting a good range of views is so important if we are to find a way forward.

      Kindest Regards

  22. Hi Charlotte. Thanks for visiting and following my blog. I feel that the arts should definitely be funded. Every time there has been a major cultural advance in society, it has been associated with a robust support of the arts. I think right now we are seeing a reaction to fear, where people in power are afraid that the world is changing around them and hence they are seeking to stifle the arts. Let’s hope the pendulum swings back soon. Cheers!

  23. This is a good dialog.

    I constantly flip-flop on the subject, even though I have a design degree and worked as a pro for decade before finally having had enough of being the stereotypical starving artist.

    When I see tax dollars going to “art” that offends or provokes — just for the sake of doing so — and not offer anything of beauty or hope… then I’m against public art funding.

    Yet when I see places where poverty is the norm and beauty is but a dream, public art funding can make all the difference between a truly wretched existence and one where there is hope and aspiration.

  24. Arts funding is necessary and beneficial! The more expansive we make the humanities the more understanding we have will have of one another experientially. This in turn creates greater compassion and empathy for one another. If my child is busy with a pen or a paintbrush, the hope is the gun, the sword won’t have value. Just a thought.

  25. I agree with you the arts should be funded. I also wonder whether they will not experience even further cuts in the near future. (I am in Australia) So here is another suggestion for what it is worth. When I read this Blog and the answers you are receiving what I see is that artists and writers are doing other work to fund their artistic endeavours and professional practice. Why not keep within the arena of artistic expression so that you are still furthering your education. By thatI mean teach and write. Either teach locally or write a course and put it online in space and places sich as Edumy. Why not offer your services on Elance? For example I often see people come on there asking for small musical scores for their animations. Supply them?
    What I have done is further my career as w riter by training to create Kindle books for people. What I do is accept preparation jobs for books that are on topics that I need to learn about. If you work this way your name will be seen, your work will be valued, you will be learning and you might find areas and uses for your talent of which you were not aware. It is hard to be specific because we are all so different. Just make one resolution ……everything you do has to be working towards both your reputation as an artist as well as building your knowledge within the context of your career. I wish all of you all the best in your careers, Jo

    1. Hi Jo, Thanks for the tips and I appreciate the time that you spent writing this response. I value all suggestions and will investigate them fully as I want to explore all the avenues towards achieving my goal. In the year that I started my course at the RCS there was a change in the law which means that I have to take on student loans of over £ 50,000.00 to pay for my training. Because the change was unexpected we had little time as a family to save to cover the costs which in turn has made me very focused.

      Please come back and visit when you can 🙂

  26. Sadly, if there is no measurable financial value that can be attributed to your work as an artist (and really, how can there be?) then you are stuffed – but would you rather sing, write, draw, paint, sculpt, play… Or work tirelessly in a job merely to earn money? I’d rather keep writing and remain financially poor, but culturally enriched.

    Matthew Simon Alexander

    1. Hi Matthew, I admire your passion for your work and I wish you well for the future. Come back when you can as your participation is appreciated.

      1. Hi Charlotte,

        Yes, I will. I wish you the very best of luck in your chosen career. Glad to see you enjoy it so much.



  27. I have added a piece to this article that those of you who are following this thread may find interesting.

    I read an interesting article today in the Guardian online by Charlotte Higgins titled Arts groups warned they face total loss of funding. In the article Charlotte Higgins says “It’s a philosophical question of whether you want to preserve England’s artistic heritage or support innovation. There are strong lobbies both ways within the Arts Council and it will go to the wire.”


    1. Hi, Charlotte and Kinglseycw13,

      I agree with Kingleycw13 that “arts are vital.” I believe that art is indeed as necessary as air and water, as food and shelter. And I believe that it is necessary to people on an individual level. One of the worst things that one can do a human being is to deprive him or her of the opportunity not only to encounter and experience art but also to create art. We are all artists, and the healthiest society would be the one that encouraged all of its members to engage actively in the creation of art.

      Thanks, Charlotte, for your own devotion to art.

      All the best,


      1. Hi Dan, thanks for your contribution to the debate. I believe that it is so much better for everyone if we devote time and energy in creating and filling the world with beauty and wonder rather than spending so much time and effort on destroying what is around us. I never cease to be amazed when watching programs about tribal life in the jungle and deserts how much of their lives is devoted to their community, a sense of self-worth and that they display their artistic endeavours through dance, chants and song.

        Thanks so much for your contribution and return again when you can.

  28. It’s the commodification of art. And it just, plain bites. The more arts are funded by “individual interests (i.e. wealthy contributors and companies)” the more pressure to become beholden to them. The U.S. is a snapshot into the future for you, Charlotte. Art, culture and all that is sacred to human/societal progression, is under attack. There are wonderful exceptions, but in all, I feel the cultural level in the United States is plummeting. In an age when art is accessible and interchangeable on a scale previously unknown to humankind, we see it being trampled and overrun by the short-sighted plan to make a buck.

    1. Hi Brian, having read through some of the items on your site I must say that you are well positioned to form a judgement. This is why I find blogging so helpful as I have limited experience due to my age, but I want to try understand the world that I wish to forge a career in. I know how much being able to study the arts from textile design, fine arts, dance and music has helped become the person I am today and I want as many people as possible to discover their inner artist.

      With my very best wishes and I hope you can drop by again soon.

  29. I think arts funding by the state is very important, but there is also a role for private donations. The arts and creative industries contribute a lot to our economy and supporting them adds benefit to all. There are lots of arguments about elitism etc of the arts, but it is up to th artists and arts organisations to make their offerings more accessible. Obviously there are lots of other important things for the state o finance, but t shoud not be to the exclusion of the arts.

  30. Great post! We are experiencing this right here in our college town. The local school board has had to make major changes in how to fund what the state requires. First to go is the arts. So many students, parents, and the community at large came to speak out against this. It seems that the board went back to the discussion table to act in favor of the arts and what they mean to our community from the ground up. Thumbs up for the fight!!

  31. As a working artist (i.e. one who supports herself with her artwork) I find these cuts short sighted and extremely depressing. I believe that art lifts us up, feeds our spirit and is the soul of a community. We have the similar problem in the US where politicians (who show no inclination to put their pay or benefits at risk) want to quantify the “benefits” of art to the balance sheet. It does not work that way.
    Good luck with your trip to italy. I enjoyed this post!

    1. Hi, thanks for visiting and taking the time to comment on this important topic. Thanks for the link back to the post from your own blog. I hope you can call back again soon.

      Best wishes

      p.s. I love your illustrations 🙂

      1. Thank you! I will definitely check back in on your blog. That post could have come straight from my brain. It makes me despair for todays kids, as they cut school funding for everything creative. Without art, I surely would have perished.

      2. I have loved all the creative subjects that I have studied or participated in, they have helped me in numerous ways helping me become the person that I am today. Without access to these subjects we will restrict the development of future generations to the detriment of society as a whole.

        Best wishes and keep on with your great work.

      3. Not to mention developing critical thinking and problem solving skills. I hope this short sighted cutting of arts programs in school stops. I hate to think what the future will look like without it.
        Thanks again. Have an absolutely fabulous experience in Italy with your music studies.

  32. The love of the “Arts” begin with our children…with that being said those who control the budgets for education are determined to cut these areas. Yes, the “3 R’s” are important, but these make it possible for future generations to pay the admissions to all forms of art. My greatest fear is that at some point there will be nothing to write about but “technology”. Thank you for this post. AJM

    1. Hi Ann, I think that the arts will prevail, even cavemen drew on walls and lost tribes have their own dance. I fondly remember watching Barney dvds as a child and learning the songs; pumpernickel bread and one that said if your rub red and yellow it makes orange songs stick in my mind and we’d dash away to make the colours we’d seen on the tv afterwards out of our paints.
      Best Wishes hope you can come back and visit again.

  33. Hello, I work in a library. Our library has fundraisers and how do they raise the money. The have musicians come in and sing while they are eating at the library.. The whole library on the first floor gets transformed into music night at the library. The tickets are sold. I believe that one of the funeral homes pays for the musicians, They turn the circulation into a bar and serve drinks, they do have to pay for that. I have never attended as it conflicts with my schedule. But I think the Arts are very important. I coordinate an Art Show every year at the library. Thanks for stopping by my place. And its fun to meet new people.

    1. Hi Mary, I loved going to the library as a child, we went regularly to read the books and listen to the book readings. As a teenager my parents took us to Council meetings in the library to try to involve in local community matters more and make us think about fundraising for a wide variety of issues from arts to parks. I live the idea of a music night in the library I must discuss it with some of the local councillors, thank you for visiting, hope you pop back again sometime.

      Best wishes

      1. Hi Charlotte, I have been watching but not commenting for a while. I am an artist ad here in AU the funds dried up for arts education. The libraries and Art galleries put on artists so that teachers can bring the kids to “days”…also so artists in residences are still funded here in AU. Have you thought down that track (permanent part time residencies?) I don’t have a personal vested interest in this but thought this link might get you thinking
        Forgive me if someone already suggested it. Music is one of the most therapeutic of the arts. I work as an arts therapist and we do have musicians playing while we work.
        So what I am getting at s residencies (Therapy is only one of the benefits)

  34. As someone with a music degree who was steeped in music from an early age, I can vouch for the importance of the arts and music in particular. We are finding in our small corner of the northwestern U.S. that people will pay for what matters to them. I just wish they didn’t have to.

    You have a gorgeous voice! God bless as you follow your dream 🙂 And thanks for the follow.

    1. Thanks for your contribution to the debate and I agree with you about the importance of the Arts to society. I hope to see you here again soon.

      Best wishes

  35. I find that struggling artists who are not from affluent families are desperately in need of financial support to produce the beauty they see in their imaginations. While some might argue that financial support for some pretty outrageous and questionable ‘art’ projects, the vast majority are worthy and could be lost if the artists have to abandon them to work to maintain a subsistence level of existence. But times are tough and most people tend to thing of their own ‘back yard’ and not the larger cultural picture. i applaud you for your efforts to self-fund and hope you are successful.

    1. Hi Darell, thanks for dropping by and for your contribution. It is important to do what ever we can to nurture the creative talents within our societies.

      Warmest wishes

  36. Hi Charlotte. How deeply a country supports and funds its artists is reflective of it’s cultural and emotional intelligence, if you will. A country is richer and its people become richer by being able to afford and celebrate the arts. It can’t be all about technology and economics, which sap our souls. Culture and the arts refuel our souls, or as Pablo Picasso said, “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” Amen. We need more countries to support arts funding, and unfortunately, this is also under attack in Canada also.

    1. Hi Marie, I truly hope that by making more people aware of the importance of the Arts to society that we can make them think about what the world would be like without access to these wonderful creative activities.

      Warmest wishes

  37. Hi Charlotte, I am so glad I found your site by your following mine. Thank you. The discussion above is exciting and enlightening. I am afraid that arts funding is on very thin ice everywhere, whether for music, art, or creative writing. One of your commentators talked about “philistines”; another cited a Russian official’s explanation. I am afraid that there is a bit of truth in both of them.
    Thanks again for visiting and enjoy your trip to Italy.

    1. Hi John, thanks for stopping by and for your contribution to this debate. The creative Arts bring so much to so many people that I do hope that society can find away to provide as many opportunities as possible for our future generations.

      Warmest wishes and come back soon.

  38. Without government funding, we risk losing more than just arts. In the States, we’ve lost environmental, civil engineering, Park Ranger, law enforcement, firefighting, and teaching jobs because of government cuts. Imagine a world where people can’t aspire to be astronauts, biologists, police officers or firefighters!! Where your choices are narrowed to Wal Mart Greeter or check out clerk. Sad indeed. Fight the cuts to the arts, otherwise it’s just the first of many career possibilities that will be lost in the name of austerity.

    1. Hi Dawn, it is so important to maintain aspiration and social mobility and the Arts can help you reach your goals and fulfil your dreams. They help people to express themselves and explore opportunities.

      Warmest wishes

  39. Thank you for visiting and following my blog. I support funding for the arts. One of our daughters works in the arts and an uncle was a leading US artist (better known after he died).

  40. Wonderful article. I have long known how important the Arts are to society, and I believe that all people, regardless of status or income, should have the opportunity to experience and participate in them. Unfortunately, not everyone feels the same way, and often the people with the least money and, therefore, the least political impact, suffer the most.

    1. It is important to provide ways for as many people as possible to explore their creativity and to enjoy the efforts of other artists.

      Best wishes and thanks for taking the time to contribute 🙂

  41. I liked the topic you touched on in this post. I feel the arts are important to our cultural growth and I think it sad it is faced with a loss of funding. Hope you have success with your endeavor.

    1. Thanks for contributing to the debate, I do believe that the Arts are important within society and hope that we can find away of continuing to provide open access to them, especially in education.

      Best wishes

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