Government funding for the arts has been wasting away. An article in the Seattle Times (3/27/11) warns of the movement to cut funding in Washington State. As Governor Gregoire’s spokeswoman said, “She absolutely sees the importance of publicly funded art, but it’s hard to fund art when at the same time you’re eliminating people off of health care and other social services.”
The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies has said that, during the fiscal year of 2012, thirty-five different states will cut their funding of the arts.
- Wisconsin politicians are pushing for a 73% cut.
- The Washington State governor wanted an 80% cut.
- Arizona eliminated their Arizona Commission for the Arts.
- Kansas lost all state-funding for the arts in 2012, though they have taken small steps for 2013 with the flattened Kansas Arts and Kansas Film Services Commissions being transformed into the Creative Arts Industries Commission.
- In Michigan, in 2001, the state government appropriated $25.8 million for the arts. In 2012, that dropped to $1.4 million dollars.
- and the list goes on and on. Check here to see what YOUR state is up to.
Don’t Let The Man Keep Us Down!
Why do you suppose we’ve seen such a rabid response to the Kickstarter phenomenon? I have a theory, and it is just my own theory, but I believe that the Internet has found yet another way to change the world. Although the government is abandoning the Arts, we citizens are coming together to create a Renaissance that, I guarantee, will go down in history. An iRenaissance, if you will.
People sense hope for a new dawn of creativity and arts. Despite The Man trying to keep us down, we’re forming an artistic revolution on our own and snubbing our noses at the government.
Fine. You won’t fund the arts? We’ll fund them ourselves, Mr(s). Governor!
Reach Out and Touch
Being part of a funding source is so much fun. You get to watch as your pet projects evolve and come to life. You’re in the studio, in the office, in the moment with the creators. You get to know the artists behind the projects, to speak with them, and to be their light in an otherwise dark and limited world of core curriculums and practicality.
Kickstarter empowers us all to not only be patrons of the arts, but to support specific projects that we would like to see in the world. It’s diplomacy at its finest. You vote for the projects and creators you prefer, with a pledge of less than the cost of a movie ticket, and you’re getting more for your money than a couple hours entertainment. You’re not just giving money away. You get the art when it’s done, to hang on your wall, plaster on your ceiling, or display in your bookshelf. It’s win-win!
Besides, to the artists, writers, game designers, and film-makers to whom you pledge, you are a hero—through and through!