Should Art Be Publicly Funded?

Should Art Be Publicly Funded?

We’d like to thank Audible for supporting
PBS. The views discussed in this episode do not
necessarily reflect the views of PBS or its member stations. All thoughts and opinions presented here are
from me – Sarah Green. Also, full disclosure – PBS has received funding
from the NEH and NEA. However, neither PBS Digital Studios nor Art
Assignment funding has come from these organizations to date. You’ve heard it before. My tax dollars are paying for what now? It’s said about a wide range of public programs,
but you’ve probably heard it at least once about art. It may have been photographs of unclothed
men. Graphic performance art. An image of a crucifix submerged in urine. You probably haven’t heard complaints about
art therapy for veterans, the honoring of jazz legends, after school theater programs
in underserved communities, mural projects on the Cheyenne River Lakota Reservation in
South Dakota, or the show that wouldn’t have traveled to your town otherwise. In the United States, the issue of whether
art should be publicly funded tends to come up only when there’s a controversy, or when
a new budget proposal is released. Defenders tend to focus on the relatively
miniscule amount of spending it takes to run these programs in the US. And it’s true, in 2018 funding the National
Endowment for the Arts constituted .004 percent of the federal budget. But I’d like to take a look at what this
kind of funding actually accomplishes, how other countries support the arts, and how
this kind of spending affects your life in ways you may not be aware of. In 1965, US President Lyndon Johnson signed
a Congressional act that declares that the arts and the humanities: “…belong to all
the people of the United States,” and that they “reflect the high place accorded by
the American people to the nation’s rich cultural heritage and to the fostering of mutual respect
for the diverse beliefs and values of all persons and groups.” The act established the National Endowments
for the Arts and for the Humanities as independent agencies of the federal government, both of
which have been in operation since, despite routine threats to defund them. Since its inception, the NEA has awarded more
than 145,000 grants, totaling more than $5 billion dollars, either directly, through
state and regional agencies, or in partnership with other organizations. Its first grant went to the American Ballet
Theatre, and it has since contributed to a huge range of exhibitions, performances, residencies,
festivals, competitions, radio programs and podcasts, and education initiatives all over
the country. Yes, even in Guam. Its mission is “to strengthen the creative
capacity of our communities by providing all Americans with diverse opportunities for arts
participation.” And they take this charge seriously. Here’s a map that shows you how widely NEA
grants were distributed in a given year, reaching every single US Congressional District. Public funding for the arts in the US has
given many prized cultural leaders their start. NEA grants funded the original production
of The Great White Hope in 1967, starring young actors James Earl Jones and Jane Alexander. Alice Walker received the NEA discovery award
in 1970. The NEA was a partner in the creation of the
Vietnam Veterans Memorial. And it has engaged in numerous efforts to
preserve history, while also encouraging growth and innovation in the arts. It has brought treasures to the US from all
over the world. And likewise helped bring the work of American
artists to the rest of the world. Now of course the United States did not invent
this idea. England created the Committee for Encouragement
of Music and the Arts in 1940, which morphed over time into the Arts Council England that
exists today. A Royal Charter from 1946 established its
aim to “develop and improve the knowledge, understanding and practice of the arts”
and “increase accessibility of the arts to the public in England.” It also aims to provide arts education and
maintain and operate museums and libraries. The Arts Council England will distribute more
than 577 million pounds–or 750 million dollars–this year, using a combination of funding from
the government and the National Lottery. The French Ministry of Culture was established
in 1959, but you can certainly trace its lineage of arts funding back much further than that. Before it was a democracy or republic, France
supported the arts through its monarchy, of course. Louis XIV was an unparalleled patron of the
arts. And before that was François I, who supported
a number of artists and brought Leonardo da Vinci to his royal court during the Italian
Renaissance. Art has long been a way for rulers to establish
their legitimacy and demonstrate their power. As far back as 4000 years ago, Gudea, the
ruler of Lagash in Mesopotamia, commissioned a series of statues that served as a kind
of stand in for himself, displayed in temples to demonstrate his piety to the gods, as well
as his wealth and power to everyone who visited. And art has long been a way for nations to
visualize and solidify their common ideals, venerating shared symbols, occupying communal
spaces, understanding their histories, and imagining their futures. But back to France. Current French president Emmanuel Macron followed
up on a campaign promise to improve youth access to the arts, by working with the Ministry
of Culture to release a mobile app called Culture Pass. Described by The Guardian as “like Tinder
for the arts,” it shows you cultural offerings in your area, and makes it easy to get the
details, reserve tickets, and so forth. And if it’s the year of your 18th birthday,
it comes preloaded with 500 euros of “culture credit” to spend. It’s one of many programs supported by the
Ministry of Culture, whose funding budget for this year is a whopping of 3.63 billion
euros, the equivalent of more than 4 billion dollars. The German Cultural Council, founded in 1981,
oversees 258 federal cultural associations, and in 2018 announced a large increase in
budget to nearly $2 billion overall. This includes the kind of arts funding you
might expect, as well as kinds you maybe wouldn’t, like an annual computer game prize. Germany also makes available a social insurance
system for self-employed artists, paying for about half of their health insurance and pension
fees. Mexico has had a program since 1957 that gives
artists the opportunity to pay their federal income taxes with their own art, as long as
it meets quality standards decided by a committee of artists and curators. These artworks become part of a national collection,
some of which is on permanent display in Mexico City, and some of which is loaned to public
institutions across the country and around the world. There are many different models for arts councils
and ministries of culture around the world, that allocate funding that ranges from very
modest to, well, France. The NEA’s appropriation for 2018 came to
$152.8 million dollars, or around 3% of France’s arts budget. The bulk of arts funding in the US comes from
the private sector, and NEA grants are usually complements to that private funding, many
of the gant even requiring that recipients match the amount awarded with other contributions. But we also know that NEA funding tends to
attract that private support, with every $1 of NEA funding in 2016, leveraging $9 in outside
funding. This functions similarly in other parts of
the world, where state funding for the arts is seen as the principal driver of philanthropic
support. For example, 80% of the funding for that French
Culture Pass app came from the private sector and from partnerships with tech companies. Many argue that if federal support is withdrawn,
then private funders will sweep in to the rescue. However, we know that these philanthropists
tend to follow the leadership of federal arts agencies. And, unsurprisingly, when public support to
a given institution declines, often does that of the private sector. Furthermore, the wealthiest Americans live
in the biggest cities, and their philanthropic efforts predominantly go to the arts institutions
near where they live. So you can see public funding efforts as helping
to channel philanthropy out of say, the Capitol of Panem, and toward the cultivation and growth
of culture in, say District 12. 40% of NEA-supported activities take place
in high-poverty neighborhoods. If public funding for the arts goes away,
rich people will still have access to art. It’s just going to be a lot harder for everyone
else. MoMA would continue to be MoMA, but without
public funding, how do we ensure that voices are represented other than those of the rich,
or those anointed by the rich? A critical function of public funding of the
arts is the spotlight it shines on lesser-heard and minority voices, as well as its assistance
in the preservation of indigenous cultures. For instance, a portion of the Australia Council
for the Arts’s funding is focused specifically on opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander artists. We used to think that the impact of the arts
was something too difficult to quantify. How, after all, can you put numbers behind
something as nebulous as inspiration? But there is a way. And the NEA works hard to evaluate the impact
of their efforts, finding that: Disadvantaged 8-12th graders who received arts education
were 3x more likely to earn a bachelor’s degree than those who lacked those experiences And also that at-risk young people who have
access to the arts are more likely to have higher STEM scores, set higher career goals,
and volunteer more. They’ve also discovered that art education
is associated with better problem solving, creative thinking, and civic engagement. Data released in 2018 by the NEA and the U.S.
Bureau of Economic Analysis revealed that 4.9 million Americans work in the arts and
cultural industries, with earnings of more than $370 billion. It also showed us that the arts contribute
more than $760 billion dollars to the U.S. economy. When you think about the $152.8 million appropriated
to the NEA last year, that spending suddenly doesn’t seem so wasteful, or tangential
to other government concerns, like economic stability and growth. Also, the American rich are disproportionately
male and white, and so are those who benefit from the art market. If we leave our cultural future in the hands
of the wealthy, we’ll no doubt have a cultural future shaped and determined by their interests. Art created by market forces ultimately tends
to serve those forces, and not the public. The market values of artworks made by women,
people of color, and minorities are improving, but don’t come close to representing the
diversity of the American people. Do we really believe that “the arts and
the humanities belong to all the people of the United States”? And if so, how much is it worth to try to
keep it that way? There’s this quote floating around about
Winston Churchill’s response to the proposed cutting of arts funding in the UK during the
second world war. Supposedly he said: “Then what are we fighting
for?” It’s a wonderful sentiment, although like
many of the quotes attributed to Churchill, it doesn’t look like he ever said it. But there’s something to it, regardless. To the idea that, at any given time, we’re
not just fighting for safety and security. We’re fighting for the things that make
life worth living. And sometimes we don’t know what those things
are until an artist shows us. Once we’ve seen it, we know that the world
is so much better for having had it, whether it’s The Color Purple, the only arts organization
in your community, Hamilton, or yes even images that might offend you. The exhibitions, performances, workshops,
and events that are supported by government funds, are places and moments where we come
together to think about what, as a community, we value and what we don’t. Not where we come together as consumers, although
you can usually exit through the gift shop, but where we intersect as thinking, feeling,
sensing beings, with contrasting understandings of history, beliefs in our present, and hopes
for our future. We don’t all agree on the appropriate scope
of our government. But most of us do agree that art is a key
part of the education of our children. When does that fall away? When do the arts stop being a critical part
of our lives, and start belonging only to the privileged? If you’d like to learn more about the history
of how the US government got into the game of funding art, you should check out my friend
Danielle Bainbridge’s excellent video on the topic over at her channel Origin of Everything. We’d like to thank Audible for supporting PBS. Audible’s selection of audiobooks includes
Audible Originals, audio titles created by storytellers from around the literary world. For example, The Genius Dialogues, where host
Bob Garfield sits down with MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant” fellows, including artist
Jorge Pardo, to learn about what events shaped their life, and what they imagine our shared
future looks like. Visit OR text artassignment
to 500 500 to learn more. Members own their books and can access them
anytime. Thanks for all of our patrons for supporting
The Assignment, especially our grandmaster of the arts Vincent Apa.

100 thoughts on “Should Art Be Publicly Funded?”

  1. I like how this entire episode was basically a rallying cry in the spirit of "Yes, it is bread we fight for — but we fight for roses, too!" and Sarah had to pretend this was anything else than a socialist manifesto for Beauty and Art, so as not to alienate the general audience. Keep up the good work, comrade 😉

  2. Something I learned recently that has less about funding but has public interference nonetheless is that in a city here in my country, every building over a certain square footage (like 10000) has to have a piece of art too. I find this kinda cool for a big city

  3. I just discovered this channel, it's my new favourite, totally love it! I work with many different arts groups in Dublin, Ireland, on a wide variety of projects. This June we are making a two kilometre paper rope that is going to hang through the streets of Tallaght, an area with a poor national reputation but with burgeoning art and culture scene and an amazingly diverse population. Our projects are funded by the Irish Arts Council, the European Union, and other agencies. We work tirelessly, putting in much more than we get out. Without funding, none of this would be possible. Love your arts, support your arts, enjoy your arts, because without them your life will be all the more duller.

  4. One thing I wish we could do as a culture is move away from talking about art just for what it does for the economy or for education, and instead talk more about its intrinsic value. When arguing for public funding we rely too much on "funding art solves x problem" instead of "funding art makes art possible, and art is valuable in and of itself."

  5. I wish I had an art app like Tinder… The arts are so important, I wish more people knew that.

  6. this is my research for meeting my city arts council officer tomorrow! good timing art assignment!

  7. It is worth noting that France's participation in the arts extends into other areas than just the "consumer" end.

    In the performing arts (including theatre and cinema), many workers (performers, designers and all the other artists whose work goes into a production) are in and out of contracts, and work as freelancers in most countries, making their situation very precarious.
    France has for a long time had a unique status for these workers, that of the "intermittent du spectacle" (literally intermittent [workers] in entertainment). This status ensures that workers in the performing arts are given contracts as employees (even if short-term), which gives them more job security, and ensures employers provide sick leave and pay social security and other contributions. Additionally, intermittents have access to benefits in between jobs (conditional to having worked a certain amount of time in the previous year).

    It's hard to overstate how important the status is to workers in the performing arts in France. Despite many cuts being made to the system and access to it having been made harder, and despite the benefits provided being very limited in scope (just enough to keep one afloat between gigs), the status allows a degree of stability in a field of work that typically is intensely precarious and stressful.

    It would be interesting to consider how such a system could be consolidated and expanded to other artists, in a way that would fundamentally support artists from less privileged backgrounds on the long term.

    There are (obviously) many issues with the system that I can get into if anyone is interested, but I find it an interesting approach to the problem of funding artists that does not take into account the art created, and it's one that I haven't seen anywhere outside of France (I might be wrong, though!).

  8. public funding art, means that art will make what the owner of the money wants. At the end it'll stop being art.

  9. i suppose when you look at the art that was privately funded in the past it was (at least in some places) very biased towards the religion of the city/country etc. we need art to be representational of a broader outlook

  10. Simple answer? Sure. There is still art that benefits from funding. Like theatre and museums. They are ways of connecting artists to an audience. Here in the Netherlands we have 'the percentage rule' where every project over 1 million euro's that the government invests in a percentage (that was 1%- 1.5%) has to be spent on art. Since 1974 some 2500 pieces of art have been realized. It makes sense.
    For years, even as far back as the 50's there has been some for of artists subsidy. The last evolution was a maximum of 4 year supplement of an artists income to get serious and did not have to juggle a day job. This ended in 2013. For artists as a person there is no state subsidy any more. Now there is only the 'contest'-model where you enter a design and the best artist 'wins' the prize to make it a reality. There are still scholarships and in resident programs but even these seem to die out as well. The only real address where an artist may find some financial help is

  11. Love your videos Sarah, thanks as ever. 🌹⭐️☮️❤️
    The Canada Council for the Arts, the equivalent of the US NEA, gets like $300 million per year. And there are 10 times fewer people in Canada.
    The total budget for the Quebec ministry of Culture is $700 million, 1,3% of the total provincial budget. That’s things like arts, libraries, books, music, education, community media, museums… It’s helped a little nation like Quebec keep its language, but beyond that too it helps us thrive. Think Cirque du Soleil.
    Since 1961 all infrastructure projects have to have 1% of the budget given to art work. Montreal has one of the most beautiful metros in the world, critically acclaimed art and architecture. It helps tourism too.
    Public art funding makes us all better people. If you want to be totally capitalist about it, you could say it makes a happier, better educated and more productive workforce. Excellent return on investment, no?
    Oscar Wilde said art is useless, but I think he would especially say that it’s priceless.
    (It’s like the goal of some of those running your country is to have a dumb, servile populace… Surely that can’t be right? 😜)

  12. man I missed this show. I binged 5 years worth of content in a couple of weeks and now that I'm mostly caught up, it feels like ages pass between episodes. They make me think critically about aspects of art I'd dismissed almost without consideration, and appreciate more some of the things I already loved. I deeply appreciate this show and hope it continues for a long time.

  13. This is art. When you prove that divergent thinking is worth funding, that's art. It's just too d* bad, and frustrating, it h a s t o b e s o s p e l l e d o u t.

  14. Government funding should not be confused with government sanction – freedom of speech and freedom of expression are values we attest to, but don't always practice. An NEA grant that ends up supporting a controversial work of art is a way to emphasize these freedoms.

  15. Im a fine art student and i completely attribute my passion for art to two things.
    1) living in london and going to free art galleries as a kid every weekend
    2) going to schools which highly valued arts education.
    needless to say im very lucky to be able to do what i love for the rest of my life.

  16. "starving artist" shouldn't be a thing and museums should not be rely on the donations from the wealthy.

  17. I am a political science student, and I love when questions of public policy intersect with issues of art and access and community empowerment and education like this. Art is such an interesting world in how it links us all together.

  18. To answer the question succinctly: Yes, very much so. To get more nuanced (and political/sociological), if wealth and income weren't so unequally distributed, I think there would be less need for public funding as people would have the resources to support all kinds of art (as opposed to barely being able to feed/house/clothe themselves). Not zero need though — as you say there's great value in supporting art that goes against our monetary impulses and especially in art that is beyond our expectations (or "bland" cultural acceptability). Collective action is great, and collective support to generate that which is beyond our individual financial capacity is thus equally great, whether very modest or, well, France. (Loved that line! :D)

  19. Very interesting video. I want to put something up for debate. At the beginning, you listed a few publicly funded art pieces. You contrasted art projects that people would normally give support to and then some "controversial" art that would make us question public support. I think the difference between those examples was not the controversy of the art piece. The crucifix submerged in urine is something that would fit in a museum for elitists while the other programs are definitely community oriented. I think your racial and gender analysis is correct as public funding encourages minority artists, but do those artist actually serve the interest of people? It seems to be that a class analysis is necessary. Are those effects of artistic education coming from community art lessons or does it come from funding artists who do art for the rich? The tax burden for supporting art needs to be put in perspective with who consumes that art. I would definitely support publicly funded art lessons, heritage art for indigenous people and things that the tax payer actually consumes. However my support waivers when the bottom is funding art pieces in museums where the rich go.

  20. A recent visit to Berlin-the city whose arts budget dwarfs the entire USA's (I believe)- reminded me the staggering impact of the arts on the economy there. How many hotel rooms, airline flights, cab rides, meals and souvenirs are bought so that people can come to the city to enjoy the arts? One hell of a lot. In the long view, it looks to me like the money spent is insignificant compared to the return.

  21. Thoughts from Germany here: this is a rather interesting discussion about what goverment is actually supposed to do. These funds are supposed to curate art projects to entertain and inspire the public, to teach about art and history of art. I absolutely support funding for the arts and I am thankful that Germany as a state and the states within take it seriously (mostly).

    However, it is also there to support a certain conception of art, one that is confined to certain spaces, guarded by regulations and permissions. Graffiti is also art, no? Yet it is removed.
    So it is equally important to support artists and artist collectives, especially in crowd fund types. To critique the visions the state-funded art.

  22. Art is publicly funded, it's call voice of America. aka publicly funded white American cultural propaganda. It's just conservative Americans don't want to fund liberal cultural propaganda. You know, color folk stuff like native Americans and black folks. It not white American enough. Too much bad history.

  23. Hi! I was wondering what's written in the poster behind Sarah (looks like it's some Arabic language)…

  24. Where did the bottle go ?

    Also, very surprised, and glad, as a french by how much we spend on art. And even more so very surprised, and proud, by how much more we spend than the richest country in the world (or the rest of the world for that matter).

  25. Do you know what the problem is with the art passport in France ? I've never heard of it ! Like never, and I'm sure it's the same for most people except rich and educated kids who will be the only ones to benefit from it because they have the exclusivity of the information

  26. Considering the vast quantities of money the US government puts into the military, I'm surprised there'd be any left to fund anything else.

  27. Great video Sarah! Lets us see art funding in several contexts. …of course art has an intrinsic value, for those of us who have had access to art in one way or another understand. I think the research you discussed on how it improves education, the economy, etc is a byproduct of its value and is a great way to explain art to folks who think it isn’t valuable or necessary.

  28. I am really glad to see this video and really sad that Brazil is going the complete opposite way of what is being said here. Luckily we'll improve in the future.

  29. Since NEA and NEH were founded, the USA's entertainment industry has remained the largest in the world, while most other industries have lost their dominance in the world.

  30. Artists are the vanguard in turning bad neighborhoods into good ones. But the result is often that the law-abiding, hard-working people who had been living in those neighborhoods, and the artists themelves, have nowhere to go.

  31. I'm not quite sure yet where I stand on the title question.
    If somebody were to ask do I think that the government should give painters and sculptors salaries, I would probably say no.
    But when I hear about the app where young people get credits to experience cultural events, I think, that seems good.
    And do I think that education should include arts and music, I would say, absolutely!

  32. While the concept of public funding for the arts is good, the results are often a poor investment of funds. Publicly funded art is often not very good art. I live in a city where there are many poorly conceived and executed sculptures on the downtown streets.

  33. "When does art stop being a critical part of our lives?"

    We just get lied to until we believe it, that it's for museums or…whatever else. Many of us end up consumers of art, without being able to devote the time and effort to really think about art at all.

    Being able to learn about art is more than learning to draw a picture, more than learning about the famous paintings of the past, more even than learning about how politics can shape art both because of funding and because of the force of public opinion in the political sphere (I'm thinking about the naked men photographs and the ongoing debate about what "counts" as obscene). But kids learn far, far more than all this. They learn the most important aspect of art, the thing that makes it critical to our lives as human beings.

    Art connects human souls. It lets us glimpse the inside of someone else's head, someone else's life. Metaphorically we can stand in their shoes, if not walk a mile in them. You can't hate people so easily, when you have been in the sitting room of their minds and hearts. You can't keep them at an arm's length, safely othered, nothing like you and yours. They can't be aliens, and it's much harder to make them your enemy because of that. And because of that, you are not the enemy. You are not alone anymore, locked in your own head with no one to hear you. You make the art, and let people peek inside of what you think and feel. Even if that art may not seem amazing to you, it is still capable of that connection and it is still important, it still has the potential to impact someone else.

    Of course it matters, and of course people are better for having art in their lives – but there appear to be forces in our world that want to take that away from some people and keep it for only the special few. To me, that is an evil as encompassing and horrible as mass murder.

  34. Americans have a tendency to see themselves as having no culture, or at least, a very bland one. I think the fact that we've neglected developing and preserving our cultural history through art is a big part of it. Another part of it is how American culture is shaped so heavily by capitalism and whatever's cheapest or most efficient at any given moment as well as a flippant attitude towards traditions in general. In a way, the lack of a solid and distinct cultural heritage is itself a cultural heritage.

  35. This is a fantastic video, but also as a Brazilian living under our current administration I did cry a little bit at the info about France's art funding initiatives.

  36. art, and its creation
    encourage independent thinking
    which is why "conservative" (read, authoritarian) regimes
    cut funding to art programs
    as a "waste of taxpayer money"
    …can't have people thinking for themselves…
    might lead to lord knows what

  37. 1:36 I'm reminded of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 27: "Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits."

  38. I guess you could make the case that art funding by government is not à lot of money. But i think it above the subject. Government funding of the art means artist have to please the government for money not the public. Naive people Will say great then artist Will make better art, non commercial type of art. But if this to be very naive. As in any other government funding money Will be given often to people not based on merit but often based on political affiliation, favoritism, because the artist is friends with some politicians and so on. An artist who is pro Trump and want à border wall, évén if hé is the greatest, is not likely to get any money. Or an artist who would say contreversial stuff about colonisation or anythings that is race related. Évén if what hé said is completly true. Most artist today say pretty much the same thing. They are in this cultural marxism atmosphère and most of them parrot this kind of thought. They have this idéa that are for the poor and diversity but live in all white neighboor and are desperate to be invite to some fancy cocktail événing with celebrities away from the populous and Trump voters.

  39. Bless you a zillion times for this amazing video 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏

  40. It still amazes me to see Sarah after so many years of her being the Yeti. I love this series and love that she is the host.

  41. It's interesting to me that people will violently oppose the image of Christ in urine even though the guy they worship was a pacifist.

  42. Sometimes I get the impression that "Very modest to, well…. France" is a sentence that applies to many things outside how much money is spent on the arts.

  43. From what I heard from Dr. Francisco Soriano the Mexican system has many flaws, most of the scholarships and grants are given to people who have a friend in government

  44. Can you please do a "The case of…" video about Watsky, Bo Burnham, Tim Minchin? I would love to see what you have to say about my favourite artists!

  45. Of course then we see videos supporting increased government spending on the arts, created by government agencies. If government determines what art is created, then art supports government-approved causes. And opponents of those causes are forced to support it through their tax dollars. That doesn't seem fair to me.

  46. population of US => 327.2 million NEA+NEH budget = approx. 310 million So we spend less than $1 per person per year on the Arts and Humanities. Every single time someone gives me "my tax dollars at work" argument and shakes their head, I am like "do the arithmetic" and shake mine right back.

  47. Hey, Sarah, there's an illustration in your background (at the left: the reddy men in suits) could you give me credits? 😀

  48. From an economic view, the government creates a distorted art market by being an active buyer. Art should be exposed to the free market and its value should be determined mutually by the seller and buyer. The government also distorts the art market by allowing donated art to be deducted at fair market value (its a great loop hole to avoid capital gains tax in the US). I strongly believe this hurts the art market like any other market that’s off its equilibrium.

    You make great videos and I have learned a lot. I’m going to go check out the origin of everything to watch that video next.

  49. this video needs more views as this topic needs more constructive and fac-based discussions. amazingly well put together and researched.

  50. Great video! I think artists should get should get some kind of subsistence funding. Honestly, the whole "starving artist" thing is a perfect example of why we need some kind of a guaranteed basic income. Not all important work has a market value, and art is just one example of this.

  51. Germany let's you pay your income taxes with art and offers insurance!?! Every day I find a new reason to say fuck the U.S. Seriously. Can anyone come up with a single reason that justifies the expression "American exceptionalism"? And I don't mean a shitty thing we do exceptionally well like incarceration.

  52. Art is what makes most people get out of bed in the morning. Take that away and there isn't much left. I wish this was something that was easier to fix and boost up, but I guess I feel very politically powerless when it comes to things I really care about.

  53. I don't know how wide spread this is but in Rhode Island where I lived for about 25 years, there is a law that requires a certain percentage of any publicly funded construction project to be set aside for some sort of art installation.  I think you know the kind I am talking about.  Usually it looks like the "artist" went to the junkyard and randomly dug up a ton of scrap metal and randomly welded it together and pronounced it "art."   Then they charged the state the required percentage for the "art" installation.  A committee of "experts" usually none who have ever attended an arts related course let alone ever actually made any art, decide from a group of applicants, who is worthy to be hired to create said installation.   The fee is already determined as the requisite percentage as stated in the law so all they have to do is find the "artist" whose work generally sells for that price range.   The more bizarre looking the "artist's" body of work is the more likely they are to get the commission.   I have a much better idea.   Do this.   Hold a contest.   Let middle school and high school art students enter.   Have them create whatever they think best suits the location.   Have the public (since they are the ones footing the bill) judge whose works are best.   Then install that work (which is most likely astronomically superior to 99.99999999999% of the "art" you will find in such installations anyway) and then award art scholarships in the requisite amount to the children whose works have been chosen for the installation.  The requirements of the law will be fulfilled and a  new generation of artists will get proper training and perhaps we may be lucky to foster a real artist or two in the process.

  54. Despite my comment below, it has been my observation that in recent years arts education in public schools has been virtually eliminated.   The high school that I graduated from no longer has an art department.  They no longer teach shop, home economics, music and a score of other subjects that are not directly related to achieving high test scores in math, reading and writing.   Those are three critical subjects but they are not the only subjects worth learning.  Every child should be exposed to visual, dramatic and other performance art and music yet it is virtually gone from all public school systems.   When I was in high school there were 7 periods times five days and you could take as many as ten subjects in a given year but today that same high school has three periods.   One for "Math for achievement tests" the second one for "English for achievement tests" and the third for "Reading for Achievement Tests."   Each period is about two hours long.  That is my old high school.  Where I now live its basically the same thing and in the high school where my sister teaches it is likewise only three courses taught to each grade.  Those are three high schools in three different states and I'm assuming it's that way everywhere now.  How sad.  From what crop of young high school graduates are art schools picking their new students?   They don't accept you without a portfolio of work and you don't get that without art training.

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