Supporting art events

with Dr Michael Whiticker

THE value to the community of having musicians and other artists working amongst them is well known. Good local government appreciates this and wisely spends to stimulate the arts in the community. Take for example, a group of musicians – perhaps it’s a choir, who spend hundreds of hours building and honing their artistic hobby together and decide to apply for an amount of public money to take their interest to another level. They ask for a few thousand dollars to build and maintain a website, pay for some insurance and market some shows. In the big picture of things it is a good investment to stimulate activity such as this in the community. It encourages people to turn off the box and do something a little different which is individually and organisationally fulfilling. Isn’t that wonderful!
When we look at the cost of putting on a public event with fireworks and the like, which might last an evening and will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and compare that to 50 local arts organisations given an average of $5,000 each (total $250,000) for their annual activities, and guessing that each organisation might reach 100 to 300 people (including family and friends) with each event they run, we soon realise that supporting the arts in the community is a very sensible thing to do.
But we can’t expect government to be responsible for sustaining the arts. It’s even more important we make our contribution by attending such events. Musicians themselves, for their own sake, need to support each other’s shows. We’ve long known that consuming art is a key element in making good art and the creativity and passion that flows from that leads to a growth in audiences keen to share in the energy that flows from the stage. Art entertains, of course it does, but it also touches us at a deeper level. It informs and shapes us and our openness to that is an essential part of the person we become. Let’s all play our part and grow with the arts and artists in our community.