Friday, October 03, 2008

Arts cuts


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I don't often post about politics, but this piece has provoked me enough to do so.

There are a lot of misperceptions about the arts -whether visual, literary, theatre or music. In Canada, the Conservative government dropped $45 million in funding from arts programming and now the 'defence' of the action just seems to ensure that Conservative will not be the box of choice to tick on October 14th.

The perception of those involved in arts from the government's perspective came out in this article.
The Conservative Leader Stephen Harper defended slashing $45 million from the arts budget and dismissed mounting criticism by calling it a "niche" issue that doesn't resonate with "ordinary" Canadians.
In his strongest statements to date over the cuts, Harper said regular Canadians see a "bunch of people, you know, at a rich gala all subsidized by taxpayers claiming their subsidies aren't high enough, when they know those subsidies have actually gone up."

The Globe and Mail adds further in this article.
In his first detailed defence of $45-million in controversial cuts to arts and culture funding, Conservative Leader Stephen Harper called his party's decisions good governance and said the government must walk “a fine line” between providing financial stability and “funding things that people actually don't want.”
I prefer Rick Mercer's poking fun at the government's statement in his program The Rick Mercer Report. Rick is a Newfoundland comedian with host of successful programs - and wit behind him.

Listen to his version here.

This monologue about the arts cuts is by Darrin White, Mudderings blog.

What is the status of arts funding where you live? And, if you are in Canada, what are your thoughts about the cuts?

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