Why Art? Australian ABC Arts critic, theatre blogger and author, Alison Croggon, looks at public funding of the arts - and argues for more of it. "In a survey that looked at participation in visual arts and crafts, music, dance, theatre and literature – that is, the key art forms supported by the Australia Council – 38 per cent of Australians describe themselves as art lovers, for whom the arts are an integral part of their lives. Only 17 per cent report estrangement, believing that the arts attract pretentious elites, and a tiny 7 per cent feel no connection at all. Overall, 93 per cent of Australians reported engaging with the arts in the previous year. In 2009, more people attended art galleries (11 million) than went to the football (10 million)."
"We can't give everything away under the public purse. Books are part of the entertainment industry. Literature has been something elite, but it is not any more. This is not the Roman empire, where we give away free bread and circuses to the masses."UK children's author Terry Deary (Horrible Histories series) on Britain's public libraries. Neil Gaiman and others respond.
The proposed Trinity River Calatrava Bridge in Dallas. As part of an urban renewal and ecological renewal project called the Trinity River Corridor Project, the city of Dallas has contracted with famed architect Santiago Calatrava to design a landmark bridge. The massive project, in addtion to the three signature bridges, is supposed to create right downtown two lakes, a forest, wetlands, outdoor recreation and overall economic renewal to Downtown Dallas. Of course, this massive renewal project depends large part on public funding. Some discussion exists whether large scale public works projects should be undertaken on the public dime. (Previous discussion of Calatrava)