Thursday, October 30, 2014

The 'Entitled' Arts Community?

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This clip from a 1936 movie could just as likely been made yesterday with it's depiction of the 'entitled' attitude of the arts community when it comes to how the business end of their world operates.

Simply substitute Mr. Deeds with most city councillors and the 'board' as the Nanaimo arts community and you have a pretty accurate representation of what happened recently at city council with the Port Theatre rehearsal hall, and before that the $200,000 on a $300,000 building at 25 Victoria Rd. for which we have paid at least twice to have operated this year.

That is the building that councilor Greves at one point wanted to tear down, and a few weeks later was sorry he didn't have the full $800,000 to spend on the $300,000 building which has already cost taxpayers $800,000 and would cost about $1.5 million to complete all the engineers recommendations.

Remember how the group under Ms. Tangs direction kept coming to city hall expecting their entitlement to the point, they were not even attempting to raise funds themselves. Many of these groups think that fundraising consists of filling out government grant applications.

The difference of course is that Mr. Deeds questions the operation of the arts institute that can't provide a product that enough consumers want at a price to cover costs and an operation being properly administered to at least break even.

The arts greatly enriches our community and should be supported by the community, but there really needs to be some accountability on the part of the community when they come knocking 'expecting' tax dollars from politicians.



  1. Jim,

    You seem to regard artists as children. There may be some who feel "entitled" to public funding, but most of us who have been doing this professionally, both as artists and administrators, for many, many years understand that public funding is part of a complex formula also involving box-office revenue, fundraising, corporate sponsorship, and infusions of volunteer time and labour. In fact, I expect we understand that better than many of you in the "Don't Raise My Taxes!" crowd, who regard arts funding as a frill, a gift. Wrong. You don't do it for the sake of the artists. You do it for the sake of your community.

    I'd suggest you sit down with some artists and arts administrators as part of your election aspirations and discuss this with them.


    Frank Moher

  2. I would look forward to being enlightened, it may surprise to know I have spoken with a number of people in the arts community. Are there many/any that are doing quite well with very little public funding?? Could be my exposure to some claiming to represent the 'arts and culture community' have come across with a strong sense of entitlement.


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