Campaigns Wikia

Arguments Against Public Funding[]


  • Artists do not have a right to be paid just for churning out piles of junk. However if they produce good quality art some one will pay for it if its truly a worthy piece.
  • Governments shouldn't be in the business of picking winners or losers. They should focus on maintaining a level playing field (IE We'd have more and better art if we had free health care because art needs leisure time more than it needs money).
  • What defines "art" is one of the biggest stubbling blocks, especially when requiring public funding. Not many would want to be forced to pay for something they personally find offensive, vulgar, junk, valueless, tasteless, etc. While there are examples of public works of art that are generally accepted and enjoyed, there are just as many, if not more, that are disliked, hated, and wasteful.
  • Art is a part of society and will exist without government funding. The difference between artists and those who want to be artists is simply this: Artists create art. They have always done so, and will always do so, it doesn't require funding from any government, the need to create is something that is a part of real artists.


  • What would you say to an artist whose work is based on community development? Because there is not a buck in it the work is unworthy of production...
  • When you say 'someone will pay for it', do you mean 'someone, but not the public'. If so you must consider art to be purely a private artifact. I wonder what people with this opinion make of public galleries, museums and art for beautifying urban, suburban and rural public spaces.
  • Opening cans of worms is what art does best. A social and cultural procedure like public art and art display allows for social structures to be tested through communication and qualitative assessment by the public.
  • Is architecture counted as art and does that mean public buildings should not be inspired or creative.

Arguments For Public Funding[]


  • If people want Art in public spaces, then the public will need to help fund that work.
  • If one is to cut art funding, then why not other unprofitable endevours ie// health, education, etc
  • Art requires public funding within capitalist nations because it is only beneficial once it is at a high level of development. To neglect emerging art and artists is to ensure the decline of artistic quality within the culture and to miss out on the flow-on art generates ie:// cultural tourism, design innovation, empirical research, developing emerging paradigms, social research, cultural research, technological research, et cetera.


  • Public art is entirely a local issue. Why have a broad principle (or federal spending) for idiosyncratic local spending?
  • The artistic impulse is a basic component of the human animal, like language or the opposable thumb. It doesn't require special protection. It will happen whether you want it to or not.
  • It is not rational to claim without evidence that health and education are unprofitable. It can only be claimed to be profitable or unprofitable compared to the value of human life or the value of the person's creations that art, health, or education allow them to create.
  • Direct state funding is just as likely to create artistic monocultures more attuned to the needs of the state than the interests of artists or audiences.
  • Distinctions between "high" and "low" art are difficult to make, if such distinctions exist at all. There is no evidence that the state is better at doing this than the "free market." Commerical enterprise has given us Shakespeare and Spielberg, to name just two successes. Even here, though, you can see how muddy the waters get. Is Spielberg a Shakespeare? Is Shakespeare a Spielberg?
  • It seems most of these arguments for public funding boil down to the premise that capitalism destroys art or produces "bad" art, while state funding produces diverse and enobling "good" art. If this is true then we should shut down all private studios, publishers and broadcast stations, fork over that entertainment money to the government for proper spending and wait patiently for our Art Ration to come in the mail.
  • Art may be publicly funded without being funded by governments. Many public monuments in Great Britain were made possible through "public subscription", i.e. donations.

Common ground and innovative ways to find it[]

In the spirit of this site, here is a list of ways we can spell out the common ground we share on this issue. This is what we wish politicians would say about this issue. Add your common ground statement to the list

  • A vast majority of people recognize the value of art in our communities.
  • Art should challenge and provoke, and artists should be allowed to do so, while recognizing that not everyone has bought into being provoked, or asked for it.
  • Art is something that defines a society and should be valued as an expression of who we are and of our aspirations. Just as we don't all agree on every viewpoint, this is also reflected in art, and it shouldn't be a surprise when it manifests itself there.
  • If art is publicly funded, the artist(s) and community leaders (from all sectors - business, politics, religion, academia) should take the time to get to know one another before their public art is installed. This will relieve tensions and take away any "surprises" about the art that would provoke angry reactions.
  • Providing public funding for people to be able to learn how to express themselves, to have access to resources for being creative is another kind of public support which differs from sponsoring a specific work or person.
  • Developing good infrastructure and communication between creative folk, technology folk, and international communities which tinker and experiment provides a more innovative context for other activities which might be more directly financially rewarding.
  • Postage stamps are a form of art which provides a broad based public service. National anthems, flags. Imagery is also used to communicate in public spaces including embassies or places where a nation is representing themselves.
  • Artwork can provide a sense of place and culture for people which can return community benefits.
  • Artwork can be supported through local public funding
  • Artwork can take on regionally-based ethnic flavor
  • Artwork need not be offensive to be provocative
  • Capitalism is not necessarily evil, just the excesses of capitalism whereby the elite few amass capital by paying unjust labor wages

(Add your "common ground" statement in the space above)

Discussion Questions:[]

(post your thoughts, or propose your own questions!)

1. What arts are you now involved in? What arts were you involved in growing up?

2. How would you describe the influence of the arts on your life, personally?

3. What do you see as the government's role in supporting the arts?

4. What about the arts inspires you? What frustrates you?

5. What public-supported arts programs are you impressed by?

6. What defines "art"?


What's your perspective?

As a way of starting a deeper conversation around Arts, please post your "Perspective" below. This will give us a clear structure for looking at all the diverse and interesting perspectives we all hold. Each Perspective may be formatted as follows:

"I am _______, and I believe _______."

What counts is what we believe. I am may be used to put your statement in context.

Remember to "sign" your comment with four tildes (~~~~)

  • I'm an artist, and I believe that public support is good, but that artists should find many sources of income and not rely solely upon the government.
  • I'm an artist who creates works solely for my own personal pleasure. In this increasingly connected world we live in, never has there been a time when there was more more art, and for that matter, more artists. I believe that art is truely important to any culture, but I do not believe that artists should receive public funding. To give artists public funding would imply that art is in danger of disappearing if we did not encourage it with our taxpayer dollars. I see absolutely no reason to believe that art is on life support, and would need public funding. The face of art is changing in our digital and commercialized culture. The types of things that can be considered "classical" art may be less prevalent in today's society than they once were (though I see no evidence of this), but we are literally drowning in newer types of art. Simply because the face of art is changing (as it has always done throughout history) is no reason to fear that we are losing art. We just need to look around, and appreciate just how much art is truely around us every day. Zarxrax 17:17, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
  • (Insert yours here)