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How much should governments spend on the arts?

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If we want more money for the arts, we need to create a public culture in which the arts have at least the same status in the political world as jobs.
When we start talking about the need for government funding of the arts, the central issues are two: why should government be funding the arts at all, and (if you think it should) what is the right amount of government funding?

Most creativity in the arts activity is private, and not in any real way funded from the public purse. If you play a musical instrument, or join a choir, or paint, or make pots, or design jewellery, or write poetry and read it to others (there is a long, long list), you will not normally expect governments to support your activity. In fact, government funding for the arts is a relatively recent innovation.

Don Aitkin

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