Monday 12 March 2007

State art funding = mediocrity?

In an interesting post on Artworld Salon, András Szántó poses the question:

"Why is it that America’s sink-or-swim attitude toward arts support keeps producing world-renowned stars, while lavish state funding in Europe seems to achieve the opposite?"
Szántó is tackling the situation in Norway, but what he says resonates for New Zealand:

"The problem is that government programs don’t seem to do too well in nurturing the kind of artistic reputations that merit recognition abroad. Access to free training and living subsidies is a wonderful privilege. Enterprising artists can even take advantage of government travel grants. But in Norway – as in other European nations that spend generously on the arts – these forms of support have, by and large, failed to translate into international approval.

Let me suggest that this might be a perfect mission to embrace by private philanthropy, a phenomenon that is finally emerging in full force in Norway."

Szántó argues that private supporters and foundations can achieve things that government funding, hampered by politics and policies, cannot. His post is particularly when you put it against the Creative New Zealand Draft Strategic Plan.

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