Once Again, The National Endowment For The Arts Is Threatened
Mitt Romney recently declared that he wants to see the National Endowment For The Arts, and other government agencies conservatives love to hate abolished . This is ominous news if he is elected this November . The NEA gets chicken feed from the government to support the arts in general in America, and abolishing it is guaranteed to be bad news for the arts institutions which are most affected by lack of government support, our symphony orchestras and opera companies .
As I've explained here before, it costs a lot of money to support world-class orchestras and opera companies . They cannot survive purely on ticket sales, even if their performances regularly sell out . It's not their fault that they are having so much financial difficulty today . They offer a world-class product , and there is absolutley no reason for more people not to attend their performances . Generous government support for classical music has been taken for granted for decades in Euope, but now even their classical music organizations are threatened by loss of government support due to economic problems there . But the situation is nowhere near as dire as in the USA.
Furthermore, there is only limited support for classical music in the private sector . It would not be a bad idea if the US government would allocate more funds to keep our orchestras and opera companies alive . It would not even come remotely close to the tax burden caused by the futile and disastrous war in Iraq which all of us taxpayers have had to bear . The livelihoods of so many talented, dedicated and hard-working classical musicians are in jeopardy, not to mention all those who work on their administrative staffs .
Remember - if America's symphony orchestras, opera companies , dance and drama groups flourish , they help the US economy to flourish too . The arts create jobs - potentially plenty of them . And they stimulate businesses . Don't be milsled by the claims of some conservatives that the arts are "frivolous " and not necessary for America . That is a terribly foolish and wrong-headed idea .
So please, if you are reading this post in America and are a citizen , contact your governor, your congressman , etc, and urge them not to allow the NEA to go under . Encourage them to support the arts in America . This is NOT a trivial matter .