CriticalDance Forum

Arts Stimulus
Page 1 of 2

Author:  salzberg [ Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:40 am ]
Post subject:  Arts Stimulus

From NPR's "All Things Considered" yesterday:

Singers, actors and dancers can stimulate audiences, but can they stimulate the economy? The authors of the current stimulus package seem to think so — they have included $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts and $150 million for infrastructure repairs at the Smithsonian.

Arts groups large and small are hurting, just like every other industry: The Sacramento Ballet has canceled performances; the administrative staff of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra took a 20 percent pay cut; the Austin Museum of Art is postponing plans for a new museum downtown

Author:  LMCtech [ Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:12 pm ]
Post subject: 

I listened to this story on the radio last night. There was an economist who said that putting money in the hands of a few artists will never stimulate the economy. I wanted to reach through the radio and stimulate his face to a pulp for such thinking. It's because of bankers like him that we have so little arts funding in this country and our economy is in need of stimulating.

Author:  salzberg [ Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:27 pm ]
Post subject: 

LMCtech wrote:
There was an economist who said that putting money in the hands of a few artists will never stimulate the economy.

He's probably right...but $50M will put it in the hands of a lot of artists and that will stimulate it quite a bit.

People who attend arts events tend to patronize restaurants before, and bars afterwards. They pay for parking. And dry cleaning. And babysitting.

...And more Americans attend professional arts events than attend pro sports.

Author:  LMCtech [ Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:36 pm ]
Post subject: 

Actually Brian Reidl, economist extraordinaire, pissed me off so much I left a comment on the NPR website. It's people like him that fuel the need for a Secretary of the Arts.

Author:  salzberg [ Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:27 pm ]
Post subject: 

I leave comments on NPR's site often. I try to remain polite; I even thank them in advance for the form letter they're about to send me.

Author:  LMCtech [ Thu Jan 29, 2009 11:58 am ]
Post subject: 

That was only the second time I've done it, but I love form letters so maybe I'll start doing it more often. :wink:

Author:  salzberg [ Sat Jan 31, 2009 10:17 am ]
Post subject: 

This morning, on C-SPAN's Washington Journal, Ron Nehring, the chairman of the California Republican Party, made a comment about the inclusion of arts funding in the stimulus package. I have sent him this email, through the CAGOP's web site:

This morning, on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal", you made a disparaging remark about arts funding as part of the stimulus package.

Almost 6 million Americans work in the arts. Combined with the fact that creation of art works requires a serious expenditure in both equipment and expendable supplies, this gives the arts a serious impact on employment.

According to at least one study, more Americans attend professional arts events than attend professional sports, and they tend to combine these experiences with visits to restaurants, bars, and other places of recreation and refreshment, giving the arts a greater impact on our economy than most other industries.

I hope you will rethink your position on the place of arts funding in the economic stimulus package.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:50 am ]
Post subject: 

It's good news that the NEA is augmented by $50m. I don't have the current budget to hand, but I guess that must be an increase of around 40%. But perhaps even more significant is the fact that the Arts were included at the top table. Another plus for the Obama team.

Worth bearing in mind, though, that $50m is less than half of the annual grant to Paris Opera.

Author:  salzberg [ Mon Feb 02, 2009 4:31 am ]
Post subject: 

Stuart Sweeney wrote:
Worth bearing in mind, though, that $50m is less than half of the annual grant to Paris Opera.

...And it's just over 1/3 of one F22 Raptor.

Author:  Tom Skelton [ Mon Feb 02, 2009 5:02 am ]
Post subject: 

While Jeff's comments to Ron Nehring are certainly accurate, the GOP's objection to the arts' inclusion in the stimulus package is merely an excuse to rant against arts funding in general.

Author:  LMCtech [ Mon Feb 02, 2009 12:48 pm ]
Post subject: 

Absolutely true. Though they don't usually need an excuse. They're a little on edge recently and looking for any excuse to rant in general. I hope this is a passing phase.

Author:  ncgnet [ Thu Feb 05, 2009 1:33 pm ]
Post subject: 

From Michael Kranish on the front page of the Boston Globe:
Stimulus funding for arts hits nerve - Some doubt it would create jobs
The NEA cites Labor Department statistics showing that the unemployment rate across the broad range of arts-related occupations was 6 percent for the fourth quarter of 2008, about the same as the entire workforce, but that unemployment was far higher in some fields, including 46 percent among actors and 19 percent among dancers. The Labor Department says about 2 million people work in the arts, but advocacy groups put the figure several million higher.

Also in the Boston Globe, an editorial by Ed Siegel, prompted in part by Brandeis University's announcement that it plans to close its Rose Museum and sell off its artworks: Why we should care about the arts

Author:  salzberg [ Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:05 pm ]
Post subject: 

This is from the Entertainment Services and Technology Association:

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) has introduced an amendment to prohibit any funds in the economic stimulus bill from going to museums, casinos, aquariums, theaters, art centers. As such, it thus would bar from Federal Economic Recovery funding many potential projects that would create jobs for our members, invest in lasting products, and support the cultural vitality of many communities.

The language of the amendment, (Amendment No. 175, as filed) is, "None of the amounts appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used for any casino or other gambling establishment, aquarium, zoo, golf course, swimming pool, stadium, community park, museum, theater, arts center, or highway beautification project, including renovation, remodeling, construction, salaries, furniture, zero-gravity chairs, big screen televisions, beautification, rotating pastel lights, and dry heat saunas."

This amendment may be offered as early as Wednesday, February 4. Call your Senators TODAY and urge them to vote NO on the Coburn "Limitation of Funds Amendment No. 175." To reach your Senators, call the Capitol Switchboard at
202-224-3121 and ask for your Senators' offices

The following link will allow you to easily find your Senator's direct contact information: ... rs_cfm.cfm

Author:  salzberg [ Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:28 pm ]
Post subject: 

Americans for the Arts has this on the economic impact of the arts:

Nationally, the nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $166.2 billion in economic activity every year—$63.1 billion in spending by organizations and an additional $103.1 billion in event-related spending by their audiences.

Note that the amount of money in the economic stimulus bill (which the Republicans want to strip from it) would be more than recouped within the first year.


Here's more information from the American Association of Museums:

Museums employ more than a quarter-million Americans, spend an
estimated $14.5 billion annually, and rank among the top three family
vacation destinations. In fact, visitors to cultural and heritage
destinations stay 53% longer and spend 36% more money than other kinds of tourists.

Author:  LMCtech [ Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:33 pm ]
Post subject: 

An article on the same subject from the SF chronicle.

A new New Deal for the arts

Carla Blank

Friday, February 6, 2009

In response to President Obama's call for all Americans to contribute to our nation's future, many suggestions gain inspiration from New Deal programs instituted by President Franklin Roosevelt to revive the nation from the financial devastation caused by the Great Depression of the 1930s.

As an artist, I suggest Obama and Congress include projects that employ creative ideas and energies of artists, as did two famous New Deal programs, the Public Works of Art Project, instituted in 1933, and it successor, the Works Progress Administration (WPA), formed in 1935, when more than 8.5 million jobless Americans worked on arts-related projects that paid the equivalent of today's minimum hourly wage.

Page 1 of 2 All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group