There\’s a Simple Solution Here

I wish we in the arts didn\’t have to take a penny from wealthy individuals.

Stop paying yourselves. Do it for the love of it or not at all.

Most donors are more sensitive and more intelligent than this. They are genuine enthusiasts who want to share some of their money with an arts organisation. But in return, they are given access to the people running those organisations and – however innocuously (a nod here, a word there) – they influence those very institutions. In allowing this to go on, we undermine the aim of making the arts available to all. Sooner or later, the arts and government policy-makers are going to have to opt either for diversity or for private money. Currently, we\’re pretending they can coexist. They can\’t.

Seriously, Mark Ravenhill is insisting that artistic institutions should reject money from those who would willingly offer it in favour of reliance upon money demanded at jailpoint from dustmen and nurses.

Sorry, but even the basic logic here boggles the mind.

5 comments on “There\’s a Simple Solution Here

  1. He’s an awful snob. Check out this, from a bit later in the same article:

    Sometimes, the interventions offered by the rich are embarrassingly crude. A couple of years ago, I attended a fundraising dinner for which people had paid hundreds of pounds to mingle with actors, directors and writers. I was thrilled to be seated next to one of our leading Shakespearean actresses. And then I was horrified to discover that she was being given advice on how to speak blank verse from a well-dressed, well-coiffured woman as we ate our starters. Finally, the actress asked: “Did you go to drama school yourself?” “Oh no,” said the other woman confidently. “I’m here because I’m married to him over there, and he’s a banker.” She then proceeded with her lecture on the finer points of blank verse.

    Horror! A non-professional actually has an interest in the pronunciation of blank verse!

  2. “They are genuine enthusiasts who want to share some of their money with an arts organisation. But in return, they are given access to the people running those organisations and – however innocuously (a nod here, a word there) – they influence those very institutions.”

    Translation: ‘Just fork over the cash and bugger off, philistines!’

  3. He should be thankful there are these people with more money than sense otherwise he’d find himeself out of a job.

    I imagine in the eyes of the majority his ‘product’ has no real value.

  4. Fund it ALL via the lottery.

    Make a tickbox on the Lottery so you can tick it and choose NOT to fund art snobs.

    Art should have no extortion funding.

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