Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Federal funding for the arts--clubbing the President over the budget

One of the arguments I've heard in favor of keeping the various arts funding programs of the federal government is the wildly successful musical, "Hamilton." You know--the one where the cast lectured the Vice President. Look at all the jobs it has produced!! Look how no ordinary citizen could possibly afford or even get a ticket!! It apparently had a small grant to get off the ground and the rest was history. Who really believes that there were no private investors for this in the shopping around stages? And now we have "Go fund me" type sources--at least for liberal causes. I helped fund the movie about the abortionist, Gosnell. We helped with a funding page for a rare disease. And there are funding opportunities for small business start ups--I get an email about once a week on marvelous innovative products. But what about all the great ideas/performers/artists the government by-passes, or all the horrid things it does fund which the public hates? 

Yesterday Facebook was awash with hashtag  IMLS--Institute of Museum and Library Services.  Since it was only liberals posting it, I figured someone feared Donald Trump was going to do something awful.  All of a sudden libraries and museums are going to collapse because fewer federal dollars are going for studies that no one reads and cushy federal jobs for conferences and workshops? Is that what people think makes libraries and museums work? Look, when Laura Bush (a real librarian) was advocating for libraries and museums, members of the American Library Association were boycotting her appearances. When George W. Bush was reading to school children on 9/11, all manner of paranoid plots blossomed when he took a few minutes not to alarm them. So save your hash tags and support your local bond issues--that's what pays for your library services--we the people.

Then when your public library turns down your request for conservative or Christian titles, you know where to complain.  This is not about money.  The amount the federal government puts into the arts wouldn't build a bomber or drone.  It's about where does the responsibility lie, and who should be in control.



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