I spoke to this task in 2 recent blog entries, to concern about the effects of government support. Let’s make it a priority to re-examine our positions vis a vis government involvement. We’ve really got to, as we’re on a slippery slope now. We shape our artistic output to please legislators and we prattle endlessly about the constructive benefits of the arts (economic development, tourism, brain development, etc.). We’re hooked, guys, and we’ll do anything for our next fix.
The mostly-dysfunctional 501c3 comes from the government. We’re hooked on tax deductibility; although it’s being shown that most mid-sized and smaller donors don’t care (they take the standard deduction, or find that the amount “saved” is too small to matter). So we over-burden our entire field with an organizational model that is unwieldy and expensive. I will challenge myself to calculate what could be saved in a more efficient model v. the donations brought in because of tax-deductibility.
Professional arts advocates appear helpless to stop the giant communications corporations from taking control of media, and devaluing artistic intellectual property ownership. Yes, government is not benign. It is aggressive and we need to not only reconsider existing laws and appropriations, but actions that have a negative effect on artistic freedom and output.
We must rethink our equation with government. I become more alarmed about it every time I think about it.