Arts Funding

Is boosting the status of the arts a wise investment?


The arts world has been buoyed by Clinton administration initiatives to promote arts funding and to give the arts a new status in public school curricula. To encourage corporate and foundation giving as well as new state and local support, arts enthusiasts are emphasizing the value of dance, music, theater and fine art as universal communications tools. The arts are also being touted for their ability to stimulate local economies and to build a sense of community in areas beset by social problems. Critics, however, oppose government activism in the arts, especially at a time of federal budget deficits. They see the arts as an elitist luxury best left to the private sector. They also point to continuing scandals over publicly funded art deemed obscene.

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