Chicken or egg?
More important than this even might be the importance of seeing more money flow to the arts in general.

Basically, it's the top 2% percent of the arts that's being funded at all, and thus it's the top 2% of the arts that's receiving the majority of the grants, by default.
mmmmm, salmonfood.
individual artists should get off their asses and get a job.
The City funds arts in much the same way as they tend to just give as a percent of the orgs budget so the Opera get's bank and little theatre companies get hardly anything.

That does not seem like something that would be all that hard to change. The Opera will probably still go on even if they don't get the 170k they got from the City last year, but for some smaller arts groups who serve as many people, 10 or 20 grand could make a huge difference. I'd much rather see more funding go to smaller companies, especially ones that offer low price or free performances or events.

You can see the list here…
There are many problems associated with the concentration of wealth in this country. But this observation would seem to be a non-issue. It is the disputable right of any wealthy person to give away money however they wish.

Many rich people are older and white. They like Opera. They see that Opera is not commercially viable and buy season passes to support it.

What you seem to be lamenting is how white the upper class is. Yes, that's a serious and separate issue. Or perhaps how old the upper class is. That's a non-issue that will be with us for all time.

Many great works of art in the world were either commissioned by stuffy old rich people (Michelangelo's David) or else made to the tastes of stuffy old rich people in order to sell (Mona Lisa). It seems to have stood up all right.
@5: How clever. Here's a thought: Your mom shoulda flushed after she had you.
Er, make that @4.
Another fun fact is that 98% of the tax deductions goes to the wealthiest 1%, but they only donate a fraction of what the other 99% do.

Every year I write off lots if arts donations, due to the mortgage interest deduction and the fact that arts organizations point out donations that are tax-deductible for the rich.

The system is skewed.
Oh boo hoo, wealthy white people with some sense of sophistication don't want to fund your dreams of a musical about 9/11 or a tone poem about two gay Chinese abortion doctors. THEY MUST HATE ART, Y'ALL!
Kind of ridiculous to see colorful fringe companies scrapping for a $1500-3000 grant from 4Culture, grants that make up a large chunk of their operating budgets, when the Seattle Reps and 5th Avenues get $60K grants that are a mere blip in their hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, in annual grants and donations and get tossed on the top of a donation/grant/revenue warchest.

The easy answer may be to stop giving those huge grants to companies that can easily live without them, and give that money to the fringe companies that would have a greater appreciation for the money and put it to greater use.
I'd like to point out that these organizations pay their participants a very nice living wage. Unlike most small theater companies or arts organizations which tent to rely on vast amounts of volunteer hours or meager stipends... I think the real question and crux or the issue is who "deserves" to be an artist with a paycheck that doesn't put them in debt at the end of the month.
Did I really write "disputable" instead of "indisputable"? Or is Slog just fucking with me?
@13 yes, we are.
fat floats
@6 You're right, except that many of these philanthropic organizations claim to be funding the 'arts,' while in reality, they mean 'traditional and white.' The whole point of this study is to point out the flaws in what is commonly perceived (and touted) to be a benevolent, equitable system.

Patronage of the arts will not be going anywhere, I agree. But there is a difference between patronage (such as rich old white people buying opera tickets) and old white people funding arts organizations that are supposed to be unbiased.
@12 Most of those smaller companies would happily pay more if they had bigger budgets. Smaller companies are also almost entirely local in their talent whereas the big companies often import actors.
What percentage of the donations were for capital campaigns? You know, dollars that actually build stuff like Benaroya Hall and the McCaw Hall? The Seattle Opera needs a pretty expensive facility in which to operate. The Degenerate Art Ensemble, maybe not so much.
@18 This money is not for capital projects…
The thing to know is who will be sitting at the tables and the question to ask is why is this important now? Those of us who have been ringing this bell on behalf of the NOT-represented are constantly placated into that one opportunity, our ideas are then taken and we are discarded. A major part of this problem is that like Wall Street, major arts organizations are mostly led by white people. So what will really change because yet another report holds this mirror up?

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