Economics and Art

I don’t think Daniel Hunter’s theory of economics is going to play well with taxpayers. (Legislators, on the other hand, might be a different story.) From Brian C. Jones in this week’s Providence Phoenix

Beware of questions always asked about the arts in troubled budget times, [Daniel R. Hunter, borrowed from the Massachusetts Advocates for the Arts, Sciences and Humanities] warns. The challenge goes like this: “How can we fund the arts when we cannot fund domestic violence and shelters for the homeless”?….How can the arts advocates seek another $400,000 for the Rhode Island State Council for the Arts, on top of the $2.8 million it gets now, for more poetry, dancing, painting and storytelling, when grown women don’t even have a place to sleep?
Hunter answered his question during his earlier pep talk.
“There isn’t anyone in the arts community who doesn’t want to fund the homeless,” he says, explaining how the fault is not with competing causes, but with the question.
Hunter says: “You never hear: ‘How can you fund economic development, when you can’t fund the homeless?’ ”
The answer, of course, is that you need economic development — by definition — to create the resources needed to fund anything.

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