Saturday, September 6, 2008


There is an interesting article at The American Thinker about why artists hate conservatives. There is a lot there with which I concur. But there is something else that I think contributes quite a bit -- something which The Emerson Institute is designed to rectify. That thing is patronage. Artists look at the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities that think the government is who supports the arts. However, these two support not artists, but other bureaucracies. Primarily due to several scandals. Which shows up the problem with using public funds to support the arts: you either cannot support anything interesting or challenging, or you make the public angry. What do you think politicians are going to choose? In the meantime, artists are fooled into thinking that the government, and not the free market, is where they are getting support.

It would be nice if the EIFC could in essence replace the NEA and NEH, funding the arts and humanities with private funds. As we do get funds, we would love to set up artists, poets, etc. with a place in the Dallas area to do their work for a year or so. We would, in essence, bring back the old style of patronage, but give it a contemporary twist. Many are not comfortable choosing artists to patronize, not thinking they are qualified, as though their artistic tastes are not valid. I happen to disagree with that, but I understand how they feel. We at EIFC, however, are qualified to make such choices, and we hope that we can convince people to trust us with their money to support the arts and humanities. Many artists, philosophers, etc. in the past were supported by patrons -- the practice produced a great deal of great works. We would like to bring back that tradition.


Troy Camplin said...

Unfortunately it seems that Rafe Champion tried to post here and it didn't take. I hope that this isn't an ongoing problem. In any case, he provided the following review of a book by Tyler Cowan on arts funding. I hope EIFC can be one of those "creative successes of American arts funding."

Todd Camplin said...

Me too. The taste off the wealthy has ALWAYS driven the production of art. People that major in buisness/science/law i.e. the next generation of rich need to be approached and educated about art. So they can support something of value, instead of a new car ever year. The throw away goods have made people not value the keep sakes.