STATE OF THE ARTS: In troubled times, it seems as if we have to continually explain why the arts are deserving of people’s dwindling dollars. Billye Proctor Shaw, chair of the Texas Commission on the Arts, did a nice job of that in Sunday’s Points section of The Dallas Morning News.
When asked why Texas should spend money on the arts when the state has so many needs, she says:
“Art helps reduce prison recidivism, improve schools and bring in money and jobs. The state needs to recognize that our quality of life is worth preserving. And that the state gets a matching dollar from private entities for every dollar it gives in grants. The state isn’t just throwing money away. The arts bring tourists and businesses into our cities.”
Shaw goes on to say that she is seeking to increase the amount the state spends on the arts every two years to $25 million, up from $5.1 million. (yay!) Texas ranks 49th in arts funding. (boo.) Read the rest of the Q&A here.
SELL YOURSELF: While you are waiting for the state to kick in more cash, there are ways that you can boost your profile. Over on the Life’s a Pitch blog, a recent post centers on marketing yourself on the cheap. Among the better suggestions:
- If you are making an album, have a local artist or student artist donate the album art.
- Work with similar organizations on media exchanges. For example, advertise free in each other’s playbills or offer joint ticket deals.
- Take a tip from the Obama campaign and let people know that even small donations make a difference.
OR, JUST WIN IT: If none of the above sounds helpful, and you’d rather just hit the jackpot and forget about all this money stuff, you can always just wait for someone to unload a dump truck of cash on you. The Birgit Nilsson Foundation announces that it will award a $1 million prize to celebrate outstanding achievement in the field of opera. The foundation was set up to honor the late Swedish opera star and says that it will award the prize every two to three years. It’s believed to be the largest such prize in classical music.