An ongoing debate in this country is whether or not the public should help to finance art. (Worth up to 30 points)

Should the Public Subsidize the Arts?

In these difficult economic times, governments across the nation are making tough choices and everyone is looking for ways to get the most value for the money. Art is no exception. There’s all kinds of public funding of art from art for public spaces to grants to individual artists so that they can survive and creatre art.

People who support public funding say that art can inspire, beautify and feed the soul. They say that there are some things we just shouldn’t sacrifice because the contribution art makes to our world is immeasurable. This is about spending money on important things that say who we are and what we aspire to. Rich people will always have the money to buy beautiful things and the luxury to persue their own artistic endeavors. But, so many people do not have that kind of disposable income. It’s only by pooling our collective money (and, it is all of our money) that everyone will get a fair shot at creating and enjoying important and relevant art.

On the other side, people who oppose public funding of art say that really good art doesn’t need public funding because people will buy it. (Why subsidize a struggling artist? If his work was any good, he wouldn’t be struggling). Besides, if you have to make the decision whether to lay off a public servant or invest in the arts, it seems to make more sense to pay someone to do a vital job than to pay for something to beautify the world. Also, not everyone likes the same kind of art so who is the public to decide to invest in art that maybe only a small segment of the population will appreciate?

That said, should public dollars subsidize the arts or should only private money pay for it? I encourage you to search the internet for background information and ideas before you respond.