Monday, April 17, 2006

The Creative Successes of American Arts Funding

Having lived for many years in Europe, I have direct experience with the great benefits and astounding shortfalls of many of those nations' heavy-handed governments, where the massive burocracies of socialist minds are involved in nearly every facet of daily life, including the arts.

Local GMU economist Tyler Cowen has an interesting look at this issue. Cowen is the author of many books, including Creative Destruction: How Globalization is Changing the World's Cultures (Princeton) and In Praise of Commercial Culture.

He is the Holbert C. Harris Chair of Economics at George Mason University, and his most current book is Good and Plenty: The Creative Successes of American Arts Funding.

Cowen argues that "American art thrives through an ingenious combination of small direct subsidies and immense indirect subsidies such as copyright law and tax policies that encourage nonprofits and charitable giving. This decentralized and even somewhat accidental--but decidedly not laissez-faire--system results in arts that are arguably more creative, diverse, abundant, and politically unencumbered than that of Europe."

More on the book here.

Taxing Reading

From the tone of these mini-reviews, Jessica must have had a tough tax day last Saturday.

Read at your own risk here.

Parsons on Compelled by Content

DCist's Adrian Parsons reviews our current "Compelled by Content" exhibition.

Read the review here.