A Rant on Grants for Art
I have to rant. I make it no secret that I have no love for government sponsorship for the arts. I’ll get it right out there. All government funding for arts, PBS, OPB, Public Radio, national endowment for the arts, etc., should be at the top of the budget cut list. My liberal friends say, “how can you hate art?” I don’t hate art, I don’t hate the arts or artists in general. I just want the free market to dictate what is good art and what is crap. Probably 90% of Americans don’t think that Robert Mapplethorpe is considered an artist. Practically everyone I know find his work repulsive. However some bureaucrat in Washington happens to like his work and therefore he gets millions of our hard earned tax dollars to sponsor his works. If your art is “art worthy” as in people like it, then sell it and pay your own way through life. Or you can do like most people who break into the art world, they work a regular job and do art projects as a hobby until you are recognized and become famous.
I know that I am in the minority, but grants from the government in general should seriously dry up. Our country is trillions of dollars in debt. To some people this is a cash cow to simply live off of while doing your favorite hobby full time. I am employed by a university hospital and they get several grants from the government for medical research. It may seem that I am talking out of both sides of my mouth, but medical research should take a hit too. If there is a large group of people with cancer who want cancer research to continue, then it can continue. The government grants for medical studies like how a stripper’s menstrual cycle affected her earnings, or does large breasted women have a greater chance of getting picked up while hitchhiking should all come to a screeching halt.
I happened upon someone the other day while at work. He told me all about his vision of a novel that he hoped to complete. He planned a grand story line and grand locations with equally grand characters that would ultimately coalesce into the next great American novel. It wouldn’t become critically acclaimed by luck like so many others, but by fate.
I asked him how much he had written.
I asked him what held him back.
“I’m waiting to see if my grant application is accepted.”
I couldn’t believe it. The man honestly believed he couldn’t start writing until he received money from the government. I asked why, and he responded that he couldn’t start writing before receiving payment. How would he pay his bills?
The same way as thousands of other people do … they work.