Thoughts on the NEA, government, the arts
27 March 2011 2 Comments
I’m almost always a smaller is better type of guy when it comes to government, but two things in the past two months had me reconsidering the value of the National Endowment for the Arts. One was a Makoto Fujimura comment on Facebook (that I’m not going to have the time to go back and look for) and the other was an article titled Barack Obama and the Arts: A disappointment. I’m wondering if I can flesh out my thoughts with a few words here.
Reasons the federal government should support the arts financially: It validates of the arts in our culture. It shows the government believes the arts have value. They are putting their money where their mouth is; talk is cheap, especially when it comes from Washington D.C, and at the least I do like seeing artwork in public buildings.
Is this worth it though, is the next question? Should taxpayer dollars, public dollars, be spent on the arts (outside of new art for public buildings)? This is quite a wriggly can of worms. It brings up questions such as “What is art?” or “What is good art?” Just because you might want to spend money on that sculpture doesn’t mean your neighbor will.
Of course, when it comes to legislation and divvying up tax monies we could also be asking “If the monies are spent on such and such, why aren’t they should be spent on the arts too?”
Or should the government stick solely to infrastructure and defense of country? I don’t have answers.