23 October 2011

Arts Funding Skewed

I heard this report on npr this morning and figured it was revealing. Yes, even during difficult times the rich often give buckets of money to charity. But it is important to keep your eye on the ball, because their philanthropy does not go to the poor, oppressed and downtrodden. It tends to go to the burdensome task of entertaining themselves and their wealthy friends. And then rich donors get not only tax breaks for their generosity, but get an atrium or a row of seats or a recital hall or, heck, a whole building named after them. So, let's face it, even the charity they are giving to their friends is hardly selfless.

And, of course, we have not even asked where all that money came from in the first place! There is a comment in the sidebar from Rebecca Solnit that bears repeating here: "Art patronage has always been a kind of money-laundering, a pretty public face for fortunes made in uglier ways."

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Blogger James Dunne said...

Modern day robber barons all.

This reminds me of my previous place of employment, where the President/CEO paid himself roughly 1,230 times that of his median worker bee. Our local NBC affiliate came in to do a lovely feature on the highly generous donations our esteemed CEO was giving to his charity of choice. Not discussed was that said CEO also owned, and drew a salary from, said charity. Predictably, the intrepid reporter failed to question why paid maternity leave was just a little too generous for this stalwart of egalitarianism.

Somewhere, I'm sure Andrew Carnegie was smiling.

24 October, 2011 09:15  

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