KENNEDY CENTER TO THE RESCUE: If your arts organization needs saving, the Kennedy Center may be able to give you a hand. The Center announced that it will provide crisis management to struggling organizations by helping to come up with strategic plans for fundraising, budgeting and marketing.
Kennedy Center president Michael Kaiser told the Associated Press that he worries about organizations’ ability to, “compete for resources when there are fewer resources to compete for?”
But for those in need of help, Kaiser says he already has a universal piece of advice: focus on adding revenue over trimming expenses.
“Too often the nature of survival is to focus on cutting costs,” he said. “The second is when we do have to cut costs, cut programming last, not first. I fear that’s not what’s happening now.”
If you would like to apply for help, visit artsincrisis.org to begin the process. Hey, it can’t hurt, can it?
IS THE STIMULUS THE ANSWER?: Included in the proposed $820 billion bailout bill is $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts. How that money would potentially get spread around is anybody’s best guess, but Baylor University professor David A. Smith says that additional funding is only a temporary fix.
Writing earlier this week in The Dallas Morning News, the author of Money for Art: The Tangled Web of Art and Politics in American Democracy, says that an increased emphasis on arts education is of greater importance:
For a utilitarian people, conditioned to be interested mainly in skills, efficiency and quantifiable results, it’s hard to understand art as a component of education equal to math, science, and history. Yet to see it as secondary sends the message to young people that the arts are extraneous to what constitutes a good life.
The institutions of art that are struggling are indeed worth saving, but the only way to save them in the long term is to work to ensure that they have broader audiences in the future than they have today. That starts with children, and fixing this has to happen in schools. It therefore brings with it a big local responsibility.
There is nothing in today’s culture that encourages young people to participate in anything more than the most ephemeral expressions of art. The idea of great art is downplayed or ignored, and people grow up consequently seeing less civic importance in theaters, symphonies and museums.
Couldn’t have said it better myself.