More often than not, philanthropic funds don’t go towards culturally sensitive or controversial issues. Art provides a way for sensitive issues like gender-based violence to be addressed in conservative societies. Chris Stone from Open Society Foundations believes that artists can connect to their audiences and foster the exchange of ideas that would not otherwise be possible in these “closed societies”. It’s important to continue to fund artists so that this means of communication remains open.
There is a correlation between arts and social change
Art allows people to share their perspective and experiences, and allows for the discovery of possible solutions to issues. Arundhati Ghosh from the India Foundation of the Arts superbly summarizes this phenomenon:
“The arts enable us to explore ways of thinking for ourselves, connecting us together through shared experiences – to question, resist, build. Through the arts, an individual’s struggle finds voices as many create common spaces to imagine a collective future. The arts make us human. Social urgency is the most crucial reason why the arts must be supported.”
Philanthropic funding for the arts essentially provides artists with the opportunity to define and shape their worlds, and ultimately shape the world as a whole.
Money Alone Cannot Cure our “Anthropological Adolescence”
We live in a society where more and more people and organizations are donating money. There are efforts to cure illness and disease, and to try to rid the world of poverty. But, with all of the money that’s being put toward these problems, it seems as though sickness, sadness, and poverty continue to persevere. Leonard Vary of the Myer Foundation says that he doesn’t believe anything will be cured if society only focuses on pushing money towards problems. He believes that we need new ideas, creativity, compassion, and understanding in order to overcome our problems. That’s what artists can provide, and why money needs to be put towards funding the arts.
To see the think-piece that inspired this blog, click here.