The Necessity of Art
Even in the midst of a huge budgetary crisis, it’s nice to see that Missouri taxpayers will continue to support the finer things in life:
In the budget proposed by Gov. Jay Nixon last month, the Missouri Arts Council, part of the Missouri Department of Economic Development, would not receive a direct appropriation from the state to fund nonprofit arts organizations, including the Allied Arts Council of St. Joseph.
However, Mr. Nixon has recommended that the agency be given the ability to spend $9.7 million in the next fiscal year, the same spending authority it was given during the current fiscal year. The agency is provided federal dollars and money it receives from a trust fund that collects tax revenues from out-of-state professional athletes and entertainers who perform in Missouri.
Supporters of this spending might point out that the money comes from the federal government, but I’m sure that money could be spent on more essential services and help bring Missouri at least somewhat out of its fiscal black hole.
Art is undoubtedly a wonderful thing, but it does not require government funding. People who enjoy art — myself included — can continue to spend their own money on it. If artists and artistic institutions cannot attract such patronage on their own merits, then people clearly do not value it, and the government should not be funding it.