Killing The Family To Build The House

So, crap.

Friday, Dan Wakin reports that our dear Brooklyn Philharmonic has canceled all of its concerts for this season, as well as “all of next season’s subscription concerts”. Ironically, the educational programs will still continue, since they still have funding from the government.

This is the kind of crap that drives me insane.

It’s part and parcel of this idea that the arts organizations have to offer “educational” and “outreach” initiatives, separate from the actual art, in order to receive federal dollars.

To regard education and outreach as separate from art is simply asinine. Art is education. Art is outreach. Great art already imparts knowledge and offers experience. Anyone who has been spiritually and intellectually moved by art knows this to be true.

And how does it make sense to fund education about an industry that the government resists directly supporting, in fact, has allowed to collapse? Sure kids, learn to play the clarinet, but try not to dream about playing for your local orchestra, which may or may not be there when you grow up. It boggles the mind.

Second–and not unrelated–Dan Wakin, on the same day, wrote this piece about how ye olde New York City Opera has pretty much looted one third of its own endowment to pay off past expenses and to cover operating costs, because they have no money.

Umm…didn’t NYCO/Lincoln Center just get a $100 Million gift? Oh, wait, that was a capital gift. So, while it’s fabulous that the State Theater will be a better theater for opera after the Koch-sponsored renovations are done: What good does it do IF THERE ISN’T ANY OPERA TO PRESENT?

Claudia La Rocco touches obliquely on this in her article about small performance venues going into debt to launch capital projects, sometimes at the expense of programming.

La Cieca is reporting that some kind of “uprising” may happen this week at NYCO.

God help them. You know we tried.

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1 Comment

  1. Congratulations on coming out as a conservative, dear CC. Welcome to the party.

    Yes, government intervention distorts incentives and skews markets, such that they are in this case. This is not news. (Read LaGuardia on NYCO and the arts groups that he put out of business in order to create his “populist” opera company.) Who wants government picking winners and losers? Winners do. But government is fickle. You can’t count on it long-term.

    Donors respond in kind. Rebuilding a theater is a surer bet than sinking money into a tenuous situation.

    Your Bobby Jindal bobble head is in the mail.


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