How Many Swans Does $50 Million Buy?

Arts advocacy groups gave a big cheer when the stimulus package just signed by President Obama included $50 million for the arts. Fifty million bucks sounds like a lot of swans for a production of Swan Lake, but spread that amount over the entire country and it doesn’t add up to much. Tyler Green at the blog Modern Art Notes crunches the numbers and says arts organizations in San Diego alone need $50 million to right themselves. Add in the NEA’s $145 million annual appropriation and the picture gets even more depressing. The J. Paul Getty Trust doles out half again as much money by itself. Green concludes, “The right won: The NEA is timid and ancillary. Progressives have been
cowed into failing to substantially supporting one of their most
reliable constituent groups: Culture lovers and workers.”

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