Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Lack of Donors Put Culture on Hold in Colorado

Wah! The economy is in shambles and culture
The economic downturn is making it harder for Denver's cultural institutions to raise money for planned expansions and scheduled events.

As a result, organizers delayed the groundbreaking of a new art museum that will display the works of Clyfford Still. The Colorado Symphony Orchestra is still judging just how ambitious a redo of Boettcher Concert Hall it should ask donors to help pay for. And the Denver Museum of Nature & Science has a multi-million-dollar hole to cover to pay for plans for a new education wing and collection storage facility.

Hmmm. Sounds like what's really suffering is everything but the culture itself. Curators and caretakers seem oblivious to the fact that culture can thrive quite well without them. In fact, it's their over-inflated sense of self-importance that allows artistic silliness to survive when in the free market of ideas they deserve to wither and die on the vine.

Ungrateful talk from someone who just posted about enjoying the local art museum? Maybe so. But we paid our entry fee to enjoy the art we viewed; if the price had been higher because the exhibit wasn't underwritten, well, that's an economic decision we'd have to make. Just as the museum makes its own economic decisions. I have a feeling we'd find a way to enjoy art just the same without the benefit of tax free donations. Which, come to think of it, is another way we all pay to sustain the culture.

Anyway, at least one benefactor in the linked story has its priorities straight:
We normally try to give in the area of education and health care, but we gave a grant this year to help feed seniors because it's hard to be healthy if you can't eat,' said Roxane White, director of the Timothy and Bernadette Marquez Foundation.

Hard to enjoy culture, too, if you're hungry and sick.

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