From the Editor

Arts funding continues to look vulnerable in this economic recession, but it always has been, and we have to seriously look at why this is.Arts communities have continually put forward economic, cultural and social arguments for funding for the arts, and yet...

Arts funding continues to look vulnerable in this economic recession, but it always has been, and we have to seriously look at why this is.

Arts communities have continually put forward economic, cultural and social arguments for funding for the arts, and yet their impact is limited. When the tough times come, they are almost always first on the list for the chop. How can this be?

Perhaps the reason lies in something as simple as the negative, grumbling attitude that is almost endemic among arts communities. Societies today are reorientating themselves as knowledge economies, with home-grown entrepreneurialism at their root, but the arts have missed the boat in that regard.

Although arts communities are profoundly entrepreneurial, they do not identify themselves as such in the public eye. As soon as someone hands a member of the arts community the conch, they are regularly inclined to present a negative view on their economic position and future. That is not inspiring.

Consequently, the arts appear not as a group that is going to provide leadership and entrepreneurial strength in tough times, but rather as a whining black hole that the state and the public must continue to pour money into.

In order to establish arts funding on a more sustainable footing, this attitude must change.

Published on 1 August 2009

Toner Quinn is Editor of The Journal of Music. His website is https://tonerquinn.com/

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