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Is government funding for the arts even desirable?


#1

California governor Jerry Brown released his proposed state budget for 2015–16 today. The budget includes a major reduction in funding—from $10 million last year to $4.9 million this year—for the California Council for the Arts, which disperses grants to nonprofit arts and education organizations in the state.

This is just one example of government’s notoriously fickle support for the arts, especially in the United States. In the face of this kind of volatile funding, might it be better for artists and arts organizations to turn away from government support altogether, even when it’s available? Could they put themselves on firmer footing if they developed resources that weren’t so unpredictable? Not to mention the artistic constraints that come with accepting government money …