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 Post subject: The Collective Culture - is it fracturing? (The Art of G
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2001 6:54 am 
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In the "Managing Dance" forum under the thread "Is the Money Really Not There?" a discussion has arisen about the tradition of anonymous giving both to charity and arts. <P>I brought up the fact that this anonymous giving was the tradition amongst the "old" wealth of places like the Main Line in Philadelphia. Azlan agreed that this was an old tradition that he was familiar with - even in his family. <P>He added that however, that today the newly wealthy seem to want a great deal of publicity in return for their donations. He felt that it was necessary for the newly wealthy to come to the realization that giving for its own sake is for the good of the collective culture.<P>Marie then wondered if it was possible to define the "collective culture" and that perhaps the majority of people today don't feel a connection to any sort of "collective culture". (I hope I have fairly transcribed their statements - please correct me if I am wrong)<P>This is a very interesting concept/question. Do we have a fracturing of our views of our society? What is "good" for that society? What is worthy? Therefore only giving to distinct groups and activities that represent our own personal political/cultural viewpoints rather than to the collective good as a whole?<P>Why does there seem to be this need for trumpeting one's giving rather than the old concept of anonymous giving? And giving without thought of personal return - and attaching strings to the gift?


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 Post subject: Re: The Collective Culture - is it fracturing? (The Art of G
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2001 1:01 pm 
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I think that the need for recognition for ones' gifts stems from (mainly) two things - humans' inherent need for pats on the back from their peers, and the media which portrays benefactors as heros. People seem to get more personal satisfaction these days out of the recognition that stems from the giving, rather than the giving itself.<P>I also think that what is "good" for society and "right" ("moral" etc.) is determined by the individual making the decision for him/herself. You will be hardpressed, these days, to find someone who supports the "other" side of the issue, simply because it benefits the most people - most of the time they will staunchly stand by their personal view, no matter how damaging it may be for anyone else.<P>The questions you raise are interesting. For example, our church has received nearly 8 requests to team up with the local charities in our community, because the charities stand to gain substantially with the new faith-based government charity program. Many other area churches are jumping on the bandwagon; they cannot wait to have their names attatched to the charity of their choice, because they will look so much more "Christian" if they make it look like they are donating money (even though they are just donating their name so the government can give the charities money). Our church is struggling with the decision - do you lend your name in order to benefit financially? Is that really what "giving" is all about?<p>[This message has been edited by Bree (edited March 07, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: The Collective Culture - is it fracturing? (The Art of G
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2001 7:58 am 
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David Macfarlane from the 03/13/01 Globe & Mail: <BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B>This Lenten season, I'm giving up culture</B><P>There and then I decided that I would pass the time from now until Easter contemplating the mysteries of fiscal reality while, at the same time, refusing to spend a nickel of public money on music, theatre, dance, opera or literature. Should I feel the need for entertainment or diversion, I shall occupy myself with humming old Abba tunes . . .<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><BR>Netscape Navigator Users: Search <B>David Macfarlane</B> on the <A HREF="http://www.globeandmail.com" TARGET=_blank>Globe & Mail's</A> 7 Day Search<BR>IE Users: Use this direct <a href="http://archives.theglobeandmail.com/s97is.vts?action=View&VdkVgwKey=%2Fusr%2Flocal%2Frealtime%2Fsearch%2Fhtml%2F20010312%2FRVMACF%2Ehtml&DocOffset=1&DocsFound=2&QueryZip=davi d+macfarlane&Collection=TGAM&SortField=sortdate&ViewTemplate=GAMDocView%2Ehts&SearchUrl=http%3A%2F%2Farchives%2Etheglobeandmail%2Ecom%2Fs97is%2Evts%3FQueryZip%3Ddavid%2Bmacfarlane% 26ResultTemplate%3DGAMResults%252Ehts%26QueryText%3Ddavid%2Bmacfarlane%26Collection%3DTGAM%26SortField%3Dsortdate%26ViewTemplate%3DGAMDocView%252Ehts%26ResultStart%3D1%26ResultCoun t%3D10&" target="blank"><B>link</B></a><p>[This message has been edited by Marie (edited March 13, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: The Collective Culture - is it fracturing? (The Art of G
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2001 8:10 am 
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I thought this thread was about anonymous giving........and the tradition of it.<P>But it is also about the possible fracturing of a culture...and so I would say, having read what this author writes, that when one assumes a complete stereotypical profile from an assumption as he does, that would indeed go far to foster the fracturing of a culture.<P>It is a slippery slope of suppostion to assume that if a person believes "A" - then that person must also believe "B"...and so a false profile is engendered. In my opinion.<p>[This message has been edited by Basheva (edited March 13, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: The Collective Culture - is it fracturing? (The Art of G
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2001 8:51 am 
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The article is very tongue in cheek so I don't think it's painting a one dimensional picture, it's just poking fun at what is often portrayed as a black and white issue. <P>On the topic of annonymous giving, this is a good concept if everyone is doing it. But when we all think that someone else is taking care of it, and therefore we don't have to, we run into problems. That is one of the problems with the Canadian model, we expect that our government will dole out funds with some wisdom and experience...just writing that gave me the giggles. That's one of the reasons why I'm fine with companies, organizations, etc., receiving publicity for their suppport of the arts. Living in the well-off Lower Mainland of BC is a sobering experience in terms of public support for the arts, particularly from the business community. If publicity will shame those with deep pockets into giving that's fine with me. Alcan BC recently created a $60,000 annual award for the arts--a rarity in the social landscape of this province.


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 Post subject: Re: The Collective Culture - is it fracturing? (The Art of G
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2001 10:45 am 
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I'm sorry..I'm getting a bit dense in my old age. Is this thread about (1) "fracturing of culture" (which is a quite broad topic and implies certain moral values) (2) anonymous giving? (3) negative correlation of wealth to philanthropy? <BR>I'm confused...before I post anything, I want to make sure if I'm posting an appropriate topic into an appropriate thread. Can someone clarify please?<p>[This message has been edited by trina (edited March 13, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: The Collective Culture - is it fracturing? (The Art of G
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2001 11:11 am 
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I think that Marie said it best (at least in my opinion) when she said:<P><BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Marie then wondered if it was possible to define the "collective culture" and that perhaps the majority of people today don't feel a connection to any sort of "collective culture".<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> <P><BR>Perhaps if people see themselves as part of a "fractured culture" they hesitate to give anonymously. That they want their name out there - so that their name identifies their tastes/morals/values etc. <BR>


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 Post subject: Re: The Collective Culture - is it fracturing? (The Art of G
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2001 1:49 pm 
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okk..thanks for clarification! I DO think some people want their name out there to signify that they want their name associated with a certain institution or organization, ie. a dance company, for example. I don't necessarily think that has anything to do with a "fracturing" of culture. And I dont' necessarily think it's a "negative" to have your name listed on a list of donors. From my days as a community acivist: when I would ask someone to sign a petition, they would often say "well let me see who else signed it". They would trust another person's opinion or endorsement, then sign it (or not) accrodingly. In an ideal world, we would all give out of the goodness of our hearts, and I think some people do. But we don't live in an ideal world, and people contribute for a muliplicity of reasons. I think we should be thankful people contribute, and leave it at that. In my opinion.


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 Post subject: Re: The Collective Culture - is it fracturing? (The Art of G
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2001 10:56 pm 
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I know this is a digression but... Trina has a point in that having a name you can use is valuable to a point. People are impressed when they see impressive names on the donors list. Where I think it's really effective is where the program notes lists someone as having made a work possible.<P>HOWEVER, potential donors tend to be scared off when they see one donor's name predominate all over the place, as in chaired by, founded by, directed by, photo by, etc.<P>I remember suggesting to a now defunct arts organization that they reduce the mention of names so that each person affiliated with the company gets no more than two mentions. They came up with inventive ways of doing it. For example, a board member donor who also took photos and designed the program notes was listed as a donor and a board member but was listed under a pseudonym for the photos and didn't take credit for the programs.<P>And then, there are those who bring down an organization by their negative reputation. Those donors are best kept in the background...<p>[This message has been edited by Azlan (edited March 16, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: The Collective Culture - is it fracturing? (The Art of G
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2001 6:33 am 
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This thread made me think of some differences, past and present. It perhaps diverts a bit from the discussion (Of course, that's something I never do!)<P>In the days of the "robber barons" various institutions would be named after them for their financial capabilities to make them happen. The Whitney Museum, Vanderbilt this and that, etc. Today we have the corporation's name, i.e. the Pepsi Center etc.<P>This does take it to a different scale and place than the donors listed in a program supporting one specific organization such as a ballet company or a symphony, however, I think it is culturally interesting...


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 Post subject: Re: The Collective Culture - is it fracturing? (The Art of G
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2001 7:30 am 
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Regarding the main theme of this thread: didn't Basheva state above that this thread was about "anonymous giving"? So I think we're on the right track folks! Actually, since we're not talking so much about "anonymous giving" anymore, maybe we need to make a new thread called "corporate giving" or something like that.<BR>Maggie, I need to think on your comment...hmmm. YOu compared robber barons of the past and with current developments like the "Pepsico Ctr". As much as I don't like the hype and publicity associated with corporate giving,I honestly can't help but feel that without corporate giving in this country, we in the art of dance (can't speak for other forms)would be at "ground zero" of a financial crisis,ie. absolutely no cash flow to subsidise our projects!<p>[This message has been edited by trina (edited March 16, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: The Collective Culture - is it fracturing? (The Art of G
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2001 7:31 am 
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Well what I was originally thinking about - hoping I can express it clearly - is -<P>When people put their money into a pot for giving to the arts - yes, like the NEA - or any other funded arts endeavor, they realize it is for the common good. However, if they begin to see too wide a rift between what they think they are funding and what is actually funded (all a matter of perception, I know) then they begin to protest contributing to that pot.<P>For instance if one contributes to a pot of money to fund creativity in music one realizes that it will fund more than just one's personal taste, that it will fund classical, oratorios, jazz, blues, hip hop, etc. However, if it funds some very religious music or some music with very pornographic or violent lyrics, then one might begin to protest the use of one's money. The donor no longer see himself/herself as part of the culture. And, there's the fracture.<P>We are beginning to see this in education funding. <p>[This message has been edited by Basheva (edited March 16, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: The Collective Culture - is it fracturing? (The Art of G
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2001 11:13 am 
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In my opinion, we <I>do</I> have serious issues with the collective culture. I believe much of it stems from an unbalanced curriculum in schools and universities. There are too many people these days who are so focused on so few aspects of their lives that they don't understand there is more that defines a culture. They forget or don't even think about their legacy. They don't understand the cultural void they're leaving behind for their children.<P>Much of the audience for the performing arts these days have to be cultivated from among a generation that was never exposed to it as children and teenagers, due to the arts being cut from school programs. And when you have university programs that further "focus" impressionable teenagers onto very small aspects of life, related only to their upcoming careers, you have a society fractured by education and training.


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 Post subject: Re: The Collective Culture - is it fracturing? (The Art of G
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2001 11:29 am 
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A very good point, Azlan.....<P>I have read fairly extensively - well ok - somewhat extensively - about the education that was offered to past generations. I am speaking here not of the masses - but of the education that was offered to those able to afford it. <P>If one looks at the curriculum that most of the founding fathers of the United States, for example, had at Harvard or Princton, one can see it was a truly classical education with a pronounced goal of giving the student a feeling of the connectedness of history. That the past had to be understood in order for them to be part of the future. History is not taught a great deal in today's schools and so the student of today does not see the continuum and his/her place within it.<P>They also had classes in geography which gave them a larger view and this was often followed up with a trip to the European continent and beyond - to widen their world. Basic geography is sadly neglected today.<P>They studied the classic literature which opened up the worlds of poetry and drama. As well as the sciences as it was known then. Add to this Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and French - this lent depth to understanding of those cultures. It also led to organization of the mind.<P>An educated mind often leads to a curious mind - a mind that would seek out the arts. They studied the arts of the ancient world as well as the Renaissance. <P>So, as Azlan says, today's education is more narrowly focused rather than broadening. And so it becomes insular - and insularity leads to fracturing.<P>In my opinion, we have today more educated people but not necessarily better educated people.<P><BR><p>[This message has been edited by Basheva (edited March 19, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: The Collective Culture - is it fracturing? (The Art of G
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2001 2:37 pm 
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Should the arts taught in schools represent the demographics of the immediate neighborhood of the students - or do you think that would fracture the culture even further?<P><BR><B>Shifting Accent of Belmont</B><P><BR>By LESLIE CASIMIR<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>The red and green flags along E. 187th St. may herald the Belmont business district as the "Little Italy in the Bronx," but at nearby Ciccarone Playground, the children tell a different story.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><BR><A HREF="http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/krnewyork/20010318/lo/shifting_accent_of_belmont_1.html" TARGET=_blank><B>MORE...</B></A><P>


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