Arts Funding Information
I think that it is about time the government stopped propping up the failing and waining businesses that call themselves the cultural sector...cut all funding to the arts council and develop a purer and healther model of private sector cultural aspiration. The arts exist in the private sector as advertising and corporate rewards...Let them start to pay for this properly instead of pretending to be givers and creaming the support from the small tax payer.
I once asked what was in it for the local and community artist when they were building a new gallery near where I live...This gallery was paid for from Lottery monies, tickets mainly bought by the low waged tax payer, some of those are local and community artists...I was told that there was no provision in their vision for that sector of the broader cultural industries and that it was more for the international arena and that which is governed by Tate Galleries circuit, again supported and proped up by the tax payer.
Now it has been brought to my attention that those who are in the firing line for developing the possibilities of philanthropy are asking for more tax incentives...those in line for big reductions in their funding are crying for a fairer approach and more leaniencey...They have had the opportunity to develop their own practice and lives through funded and supported posts year in, yet they have not developed their practice to be profitable enough to carry their business forward without this support...complacency and a blind belief their product is worth that much.
Philanthropy...I understand that the education of people in the value of the cultural sector is important and where the government take something away the people will fight for it if they think it is neccessary for their children and so the arts in education will get it's bit back without a doubt...But artists like Anish Kapour and Antony Gormley should look to the private sector to deliver the public art remit. The private sector are the public sector, Tescos can leave a site abandonded for months, scruffy and down trodden creating a negative outlook to an area when they should have the responsibility to the area and the community they are essentially investing in.
As a small business and one the opperates in the cultural sector I would like to compare my Philanthropy with that of any corporate company like for like.
One person opperation...expected working time 60 hours per week...How much of this time is unpaid work that benefits someone else directly, indirectly etc...
Between 2005-2009 I worked unpaid for phoenix art group for 16 hours a week; this benefited the group members as they got support from a professional artist, it benefited PCT and NHS as they could say that there was arts support in the area for people with mental health issues, it benefited the loacl authority as they could tick their boxes that there was provision in their boundaries.
I also mentored three Iranians who were interested in the arts, two of which benefited from personal tuition of three hours a week and went on to University. This benefited two local Authorities in being able to say that they gave services to refugees and asylum seekers that was of value.
I help set up a multi cultural group of artists...
To cut this short I gave a third of my possible weekly productivity to the cultural sector in philanthropy, but I didn't just give it to the cultural sector I gave it to the public and private sectors too. By engaging with people I reduced their feelings of negativity, angst, apprehension and increased their feelings of achievement, conectivity and positive outlook.
But as a local and community artist I still am disconnected from engaging in an artistic dialogue with the gallery paid for by the lower paid and I am stll asked to find my own space. So come on stop yer wingin and get on with it...take the cuts...put more into the sector by volunteering...Listening to radio 4 the other day: a politician was asking of the community to spend more time helping and supporting each other through volunteering, when asked what he did for his community he said I am doing it by being a politician; seeming to forget he was being paid to do what little he did.
The answer to more funding is to change legislation so that companies have to take corporate responsibility seriously. The answer to better management of what funding there is available is to get shot of the Arts Council and for local government or local art development agencies to manage arts investment in their area through private sector investment. The answer to beter arts is to leave every artist to find their own space, and therefore their own connection to private sector investment. The answer to better arts education is for undergraduates to be able to measure their training against opportunity instead of a charities bank and if the university hasn't given them the tools then don't pay them or pay them pro rata to the value of the tools.
Also, building a philanthropic culture in this country is something that will take some time to implement; we cannot expect people and organisations to start feeling generous towards the arts overnight. Should government funding cease, then the arts would be looking at a few years without any funding whatsoever.
This country also does not have a strong volunteer culture, therefore it is a hard sell to expect people to start donating their time and services if they do not already do so. It's great that some of us do, but we are in a definite minority.
Although philanthropy and volunteering are models which are part of the norm in other countries, for example the States, it will be a slow process to implement them over here.