News: A US comparison

Wednesday 4 August 2010

With UK arts funding set to suffer severe cuts, arts organisation may have to rely heavily on private sponsorship and individual donors. So what will this mean for the future of the arts in Britain? Anthony Faiola and Clemency Burton-Hill give their views from the other side of the ‘pond’ where the U.S. model of private philanthropy dominates arts funding.

Anthony Faiola looks at the benefits of goverment funding and the pitfalls of corporate sponsorship,

“Officials from the ruling coalition are openly calling for a shift to U.S.-style fundraising to fill the gap. But critics insist it could take a generation or more to open the wallets of the British elite. Compared with the United States, there is a relatively small culture of philanthropy in Britain, with little special social status bestowed on corporations or wealthy individuals who support the arts. In addition, British tax codes offer comparatively less generous financial incentives for large donations.”

The Washington Post, 4 August 2010

Clemency Burton-Hill explains how reducing, or eliminating, government arts subsidies lead to a sharp rise in ticket prices and a reduction in the number of people who can afford to attend cultural events,

“In New York, the average Broadway ticket is $120; a trip to the Metropolitan Opera will realistically set you back between $100 and $250 unless you can afford to take time off work to queue for a “rush” ticket; most museums and galleries, even those extravagantly endowed by beneficent individuals, will charge you an admission fee of $20.”

Independent, 4 August 2010

Related articles:
‘Cut – but don’t kill’

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