Tuesday, November 18, 2008

"I don't need your money man, I'm gonna be an artist."

Government funding for the arts has a positive goal: to encourage artistic expression. When the NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) was established in 1965, the United States Congress said, "it is necessary and appropriate for the Federal Government to help create and sustain... a climate encouraging freedom of thought, imagination, and inquiry."
 The problem arises because a board of people knowledgeable in the arts, but not directly working as artists or in  artistic organizations, decide who receives grants, and who does not. To me, art is "good" art if any one person can relate to it and appreciate its beauty. The quality of artwork cannot be determined by how many people out of a small group of Americans understand it. Our tax money should not be  going towards art that someone else sees merit in. This system creates an unfair situation for artists as well. All art should be nurtured, if our money goes to supporting art museums or art schools, we are encouraging all art. If we give grants to only specific artists, this encourages some art while dismissing others. 
I believe the arts do not require much attention from the government. Art is an important part of culture and society and with out it our country would suffer. However, art will continue to be art with or without money. Yes, providing money for art may broaden the audience it reaches, or allow artists to dedicate their time to art, or any other benefit, but these things are not what art requires to flourish. Human expression will always exist because it is our instinct. 

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