Feb 14, 2009

WHERE'S MY STIMULUS?

Economy, blah blah blah. I would hardly pay attention if it didn't affect opera and the arts. But it does; oh yes, it does.

In the laundry list of who and what are to be on the receiving end of this economic stimulus, I kept looking for arts organizations. I saw that Hollywood production are supposed to receive $100 million. (Phew! I mean, I don't know how I'd live without the screen version of Confessions of a Shopaholic.)

Then I saw that $50 million would be allotted to the NEA. An economic pat on the back, as it were. And yet, some politicians have got their panties in a wad about it. Really?

Let me remind them (per Americans for the Arts) that non-profit arts organizations generate $166.2 billion in economic activity and support 5.7 million jobs every year.

The grumbling comes at a time when we keep learning of opera companies shutting down. (e.g. Connecticut Grand Opera joins Baltimore Opera and Opera Pacific, among others.)

Even if opera ain't your thang, can't we agree that artists are people too--people who need jobs.

1 comment:

John Bowen said...

Can I get an AMEN! The trouble is Carl that politicians nod and smile and say "Oh yes, the arts are important" but when push comes to shove they go right ahead and cut them because they know that artists are the most adept people in the world at doing more with less, whereas sports figures and Hollywood actors simply pack up their toys and go home if they don't get what they feel they deserve. It's shameful, but unfortunately seems to be the one facet of American politics that even Obama doesn't seem to concerned about changing.