No More "High Arts"

story  Michael Betancourt, June 14, 2004 all rights reserved.


CNN is carrying a story reporting changes to what's being performed at operas and ballets: rock music.

It isn't an aesthetic choice, but one dictated by grants organizations. Unless the funding mechanisms change, this will only increase.

This just seems like a compromise to bring in the ever-rising ticket sales that these organizations now must have in order to keep their big grants coming in. The shift away from public arts funding towards private funding has brought with it the "business" demand that these organizatiions be run like a business--and that means profit$ and the ability to show a popular and growing base of support, just like any commercial enterprise. However, this is a misunderstanding of what are "niche" and "minority"-interest arts. This situation is a direct result of the rush to eliminate the "public good" (i.e. public funding of culture and arts) that started with Reagan in the US and have been accellerating ever since then.

It is not "democratic," nor is it "anti-eliteist"--it is chosen out of necessity; aesthetic concerns have no effect on why the decision is being made.

Copyright © Michael Betancourt  June 14, 2004  all rights reserved.

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