Are we being extorted by art? | Page 3

Discussion in 'Politics (Toronto Issues)' started by Glen, May 4, 2009.

  1. Glen

    Glen Senior Member

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    Developer should pay city bill with condos, committee says

    I have to take issue with the Condos for cash deal. It is not the issue of supporting the arts that I have a problem with. It is the question of is this the best use? IMO, no. As the Chicago's succsess with promoting the arts shows, and similar in the way shopping malls and public attractions work, the city needs anchors. This type deal favorus only a few. Small spaces like these will spur nothing, as the same impediments remain. Forgoing $6,100 in yearly tax revenue, on top of the $75,000 capital outlays, give far to little in return.

    Perhaps use the funds to provide some seasonal art shows for local artist only. Our use the space solely as a public gallery. Or even convert these spaces to residential, enjoy the recapitalization of values (value will go from est. $300 per ft. to $500) and put to better use the extra $200,000.
     
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  2. drone

    drone Active Member

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    I feel it's a waste of cash, bigtime, if somebody wants to be an artist, fine..I just don't see why the public should fund it. I feel the same way about athletes and the olympics
     
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  3. Urban Shocker

    Urban Shocker Doyenne

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    What a great idea. The way property values are going in our rapidly gentrifying city it is increasingly difficult for artists to find reasonably priced studio space downtown.
     
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  4. TrickyRicky

    TrickyRicky Senior Member

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    I think there must be some fascinating motivations behind the two polar extremes on arts and culture funding. On the one hand there is this tangible victomization felt by people often on the populist right, and on the other end often on the elitist left there is this inflated sense of entitlement.

    I wonder however if this gap isn't more about mis-communication than anything else. Arts and culture funding is basically a rounding error in our overall expenditures. On the other hand the economic argument for arts funding should be revealed as largely bunk. I think part of the problem is that artistic expression and culture is in and part of all of us but many people somehow feel excluded from the process. This may be because they have never cultivated this sense in themselves, but also I can see how the arts community itself is like a guild whose unconcious motive is to alienate people from art and appreciation of art with one hand while demanding funding with the other. Somehow you get a group of great creative people together and they start acting surprisingly conformist in their attitude.

    At the individual level I think that developing your own artistic expression and appreciation for the work of others is a central piece of being a complete and centred person. We all get caught up in our jobs and relationships etc. but if you can't find time for art (music etc.) you really aren't living.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2010
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  5. dob467

    dob467 Active Member

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    Arts and culture represents $84 billion to the Canadian economy or 7.4% of our total GDP - http://www.conferenceboard.ca/documents.aspx?did=2671 Anyone who thinks government investments in arts are simply handouts have no grasp of the economic importance of the industry. Look at other sectors such as oil and gas, agriculture, mining, etc. They get way more from governments in terms of tax credits, RxD investments, etc., but no one ever calls that a handout. Arts & culture investments are a good bang for the government's buck. Plain and simple. All the other rhetoric is simply political gamesmanship that unfortunately is bought by far too many people.
     
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  6. Glen

    Glen Senior Member

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    TrickyRicky,

    Well said!
     
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  7. ponyboy

    ponyboy Active Member

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    Artists studios: Artist studio space is a nice idea, but I wonder how much these spaces will be abused in the hands of nepotistic arts leaders. How do we know that they will be used to promote the best up and coming artists, rather than those that are connected? I would rather the condo developers give a generous contribution to artists training programs at the Toronto School of Art, which offers classes anyone can take, and studio space. There are also numerous marginal spaces in the downtown area (e.g. lots of warehouse along Geary north of Dupont) that canbe used for inexpensive studio space. Why offer expensive condo real estate when other low costs spaces are available not far off?

    Public art: I know that most new projects have some public art component, but I wonder if the public is getting good bang for their buck. When I think of great public art installations, I usually think of examples in NYC, Chicago, and Europe. What are Toronto's best examples. Are there any public art maps of our city so we can take a walking tour, perhaps dialing numbered signs like the murmur project? More often than not, people are not even aware of the art. The artist community, and visionaries of a creative class city are getting what they want, but are we closing the circle by really marketing the extensive inventory of public art in this city?
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2010
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  8. Urban Shocker

    Urban Shocker Doyenne

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  9. js97

    js97 Senior Member

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    Excellent examples, but now that those have taken off the ground, i think the government should step aside and allow the private sector to fund some of the more successful projects.

    i.e.T IFF, NUIT BLanche (I'm sure these two do NOT need handouts anymore).
     
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  10. dob467

    dob467 Active Member

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    Haven't any of you guys heard about Artscape? http://www.torontoartscape.on.ca/ Many of these comments sound like what's happening at Richmond & Portland is a first for the city!
     
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  11. simuls

    simuls Senior Member

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    The fact of the matter is, study after study after study after study has shown investments in the arts to be superior in terms of ROI to a government than any other industry. Somewhere in the range of $4 generated for every $1 invested vs. auto $2.50-$1 or retail $1.20-1. Most artists are not namby pamby left wing rich elitists and DO hold down several jobs (i believe the average income of an ACTRA member is in the $8000/year range) because it's necessary to survive. They pay taxes. They serve your food, drywall your homes, nurse you back to health, design your floorplans, get you the size 9 1/2 shoe from the storeroom and greet you at Walmart AND they practice their art, the vast majority without any taxpayer assistance and using their own savings. I can honestly say that I have never encountered any sense of entitlement to public funds from an artist that exceeds that of any entrepreneur or business person - which is what an artist is.

    As for public art and why we don't seem to have all that the above cities mentioned do? Here's why...Canadians, both private funds and from the government combined, give less than 50% of the amount to the arts that most of Europe and ...wait for it...most of the United States does. Just try to imagine a day without movies, tv, music, theatre, opera, dance, books, magazines, galleries, or even, considering the major topic of this board - architecture. With the exception of politics and sport, and even the Olympics has a cultural aspect and every team and political party employs artists to create logos, jerseys, pins, caps, etc..., almost everything we discuss has to do with art. While I agree that there is waste in the system and people abuse the grant process, as pointed out above, that happens, and at much larger levels in almost every industry. Is there bad art? Hell yeah. A lot of it completely stinks. But again - that's the same as in most industries and it happens when people take risks - the reason we notice it more is that art is meant to be seen and experienced. A failed pie shop or blackberry imitator that never gets off the ground after $10000's of gov't investment, isn't. As pointed out above, it is an $84.6 BILLION dollar industry that's bigger than forestry and employs more than 1.1 million Canadians.

    This idea that artists are somehow lazy is ridiculous and is really starting to sicken me, considering how many hours they work at their craft and how little they get paid for it. The celebrities people see are the equivalent .00001% of artists and their money is still a joke compared to many other industries.

    I know many on here are appreciative and supporters of the arts and I didn't mean for this to be a tirade, but, well, there you have it.

    No, I am not an artist (as I actually hate the term and prefer craftsperson) but I am a craftsperson and one of the lucky ones ;-)
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2010
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  12. spider

    spider Senior Member

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    The oldest artwork extant was created on a cave wall by people who made their own materials and applied them without government support after a hard day of gathering and hunting . Thousands of years later we still line up to marvel at their work.

    Maybe there is still some value to the concept of creating art as a self supporting member of society rather than being designated as an "artist" and as such being provided the ability to ignore the everday reality the rest of us share.

    Who decides who is an artist and who is not? Is beauty not still in the eye of the beholder, even if only the artist likes his work is it not still art?

    Revoke my citizenship if you must because I consider the Group of Seven to be an enormous national fraud, but that's just me.

    Let the slings and arrows begin.
     
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  13. maestro

    maestro Senior Member

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    Now I've heard it all ...comparing modern civilization to prehistoric man. And who exactly is this rest of us? Most people directly or indirectly benefit from some sort of government assistance
     
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  14. thedeepend

    thedeepend Senior Member

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    Let the slings and arrows begin? Don't get your hopes up. How about glazed-over eyes and a stifled yawn? I know you think you are really “sticking it” to those Artsy-Fatsy, Tax-Raising, Latte-Drinking liberals but, unfortunately for you these kinds of dull musings have been the stock in trade of reactionary know-nothings for well over a century.

    [​IMG]

    Btw since you brought up Lascaux, are there any other features of Paleolithic life you admire? The simple “unpretentious” clothing? the good old “meat and potatoes” diet? (ok scratch the potatoes—agriculture hadn’t been invented yet)…the sexual politics?, the lack of soap?, the 30 year lifespans?

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2010
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  15. Urban Shocker

    Urban Shocker Doyenne

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    Why assume that the artists of Lascaux weren't recognized for their specialist skills and supported during their creative endevours by their fellows?
     
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