ISSUE-134

Some people believe that government funding of the arts is necessary to ensure that the arts can flourish and be available to all people. Others believe that government funding of the arts threatens the integrity of the arts.


Write a response in which you discuss which view more closely aligns with your own position and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should address both of the views presented.


Should artists receive government funding? There is a school of thought that art is an expression of the individual artist's ideas, and therefore integrity is above all else, even if it comes at the cost of forgoing government funding. However, I believe that government funding is essential for the flourishing and dissemination of art.


To begin with, we should acknowledge that government funding can sometimes hurt the independence of art. First, this is because art should faithfully express the thoughts and values of the artist. If one accepts government sponsorship, on the one hand, the artist will choose to cater to political demands and give up personal freedom of expression, and on the other hand, since one accepts funding, much of the content will be subject to the government's requirements, and this undermines the independence of art. Second, government funding can lead to unfair opportunities for artistic development. Imagine there is an artist whose artwork is not so popular. But if he accepts funding from the government, his arts will become more widely known compared to another artist with better artwork but receives no funding.


Nevertheless, we should not overemphasize the negative effects of government funding on the arts. One reason is that government funding of the arts does not necessarily undermine the purity of the arts. Government funding for the arts often does not target specific artists or works. For example, government funding now often takes the form of establishing art galleries, organizing arts and cultural events, and providing funding to art colleges to help train more art students. These initiatives can only better promote the arts without swaying them. Secondly, even though artists may make changes to cater to the government, this does not affect them as artists. Since ancient times it has been difficult for art to survive without the patronage of others. For example, the church sponsored Michelangelo, which led to a wonderful religious fresco. Michelangelo catered to religion, but that did not stop him from being great. Thus, the artist's pandering to the government is no different than the artist's pandering to the public, religion, and funders throughout time.


Moreover, government funding for the arts is necessary in some cases, such as the transmission of some traditional cultures. These arts are so niche that it is difficult for the artists themselves to sustain their own income, let alone spread the art. That's why UNESCO has selected the intangible cultural heritage, especially for those arts that are on the verge of extinction, and government help is necessary. In addition, art cannot be disseminated without media that have a broad reach, such as the press and art galleries. It is difficult to obtain these dissemination resources if the artist alone, and this is when government sponsorship is needed. Finally, art courses and the development of the art industry are necessary for the long-term prosperity and development of the arts, and this cannot be accomplished without government funding.


In summary, although government funding can negatively impact the purity of the arts to some extent, we should not overestimate this impact and should consider government funding essential to the preservation and promotion of the arts.


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