This essay Make the best case you can for public funding of the arts. has a total of 737 words and 2 pages.
Make the best case you can for public funding of the arts.
There are two main worries about public funding of the arts. One is that there seem nowadays to be so many
more urgent calls on public money. Isn\'t public funding for the arts an unaffordable luxury? The second worry
is that there seem to be so many other things that are similar to the arts, but that do not attract similar public
funding. Are the arts being picked out for special privileges, perhaps thanks to snobbery? I will try to show
why, in spite of these worries, the arts remain a deserving case for some public funding.
Let\'s begin with the claim that the arts are attracting special treatment. A comparison can be made with
sports. Like the arts, sports call for skill and discipline from their participants. Like the arts, sports can be
enjoyed by spectators as well as participants. Like the arts, sports vary a lot among themselves. Like the arts,
sports are publicly funded to some extent. The main difference seems to be, however, that while public
funding of sports is usually restricted to support for participants (e.g training of sportspeople), public funding
of the arts often extends to spectators as well as participants. One can go to an art gallery or museum for free,
but one pays to go to Anfield or Brands Hatch. Is this fair?
The answer is that the contrast is exaggerated. On the one hand, spectatorship of sports is sometimes publicly
funded. One can watch Wimbledon on the BBC for free, just as one can go to an art gallery for free. On the
other hand, not all spectatorship of the arts is publicly funded. It costs money to go to a premier league
football match, but it costs no less to see a stadium rock concert. One must be careful to compare like with
like. One should compare the treatment of niche arts with that of niche sports, arts infrastructure with sports
infrastructure, etc. One should also be careful not to assume a purist\'s definition of the arts, according to
which a stadium rock concert doesn\'t count as an arts event. That would be like claiming that football is not a
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