Friday, January 05, 2007

The Sea Change

This week's Chicago Reader has an interesting article on the future of the arts,"Keynote Bummer" which everyone should check out. It basically states many of the points I have held for awhile now, and some of the reasons I started the Parts and Labor Collective.
First, that the art world model as we now know it, is not only outdated and doesn't serve the art community well, but that even the non-profit art world could soon find itself running out of government funding. Here are some interesting points included in the write up. Private philanthropy for the arts has dropped by 1/3 since 1992. Non-Profits now number more than 40,000 in America. They have continued to exist as an "overbuilt industry with depressed wages, a lack of capital, and defensive, conservative business practices" to quote.
I feel queasy when I think of how much the arts has beome a government funded pursuit. In a world of galleries that can't pay their artists, galleries that continually go out of business, non-profits scrambling for government grants and paying their "volunteers" next to nothing, and an art world that caters almost exclusively to elite and rich society, it is time to start rethinking the art world structure.
To quote one of the final conclusions of the article, "After a century of professionalization, the arts are poised to return to a do-it-yourself model"