Utne Blogs > Arts and Culture

How to Get Arts Through the Recession

 by Julie Hanus


Tags: Arts, economics, recession, shoestring budgets, compensation, business, mentorship, Toner Quinn, The Journal of Music,

Journal of Music“How is it that we have so many people of energy, ideas, creativity and intelligence in the arts, and yet they haven’t even begun to generate enough money to support what they do?” asks Toner Quinn, editor of the recently launched, internationally minded Journal of Music. Good question.

Quinn has a plan, and it begins with blowing up our assumptions about “the economics of the arts.” We praise arts organizations for doing amazing things on shoestring budgets, he writes, and when there’s extra money to go around, it generally goes toward improving compensation for undercompensated people. Fair enough. Quinn notes, however, that arts organizations and artists often operate in bubbles, struggling to meet their economic needs without tapping into collective economic experience.

“Conventional thinking on the relationship between the arts and business is that it inevitably leads to compromise for the former,” Quinn writes. “Arts communities, however, have many successful people who manage to outwit that, striking a balance between business acumen and cultural concern, between artistic ambition and financial prudence, between the language of cultural entrepreneurialism and the language of commercial business….

“What they know cannot be found in books; and it won’t be issued as a memo by any commercial business. It is only learned through having formative experiences in the arts.”

Quinn proposes that arts councils rustle up their experts in the business side of the arts and offer their advice to newcomers. Extending the concept to art galleries, theater companies, publishing groups, and the like would eventually produce a system of economic mentorship. In addition to reducing missed opportunities and generating more money all around, such an insitutution would also strengthen the fabric of arts communities. Good idea, I’d say.

Source: The Journal of Music

tom hendricks
6/16/2009 10:36:04 AM

What's needed is government funded (but not controlled) art centers. Once the building is up these art groups sign up to use it. Taking all the funding load off the backs of these groups, would solve many many problems. Let the NEA end, and turn it into art center building. Instead of spending all the time 'finding a barn to do the show' art groups and individual artists (which this article doesn't address) - as if you have to join a group before you can become an artist!) should just be able to sign up and use the center.


fritz margaret
6/12/2009 4:45:14 AM

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fritz margaret
6/12/2009 4:44:58 AM

Payday Loan rates are as high as they are because of the extreme risk the lenders take. Risk vs. reward needs to be taken into account. People fall into the payday loan trap not because of bad lending but because of a lack of education. The payday loan debates rage on. The payday loan debates are nationwide, with several states trying to pass anti-payday loan legislation, and there's even a Federal bill to the same end. The debate whether to keep the payday loan lenders or not won't subside, but some people don't know the good that cash advance lenders do. For instance, areas in which lenders haven't been driven out Frankenstein style, have lower rates of foreclosure, lower incidents of bankruptcy, and fewer fees assessed for credit card late fees and overdraft fees. Payday Loans are like an installment loan to the economy. The detractors don't mention how debt relief efforts will be hindered in the payday loan debates. CHECK OUT THIS ARTICLE: http://personalmoneystore.com/moneyblog/2009/05/11/everincreasing-payday-loan-dose-2/