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October 18, 2011


Jacqui Belcher

So short-sighted of "them" - and it saddens me as I'm sure it saddens so many.


Politicians cannot stand competition, popularist Tribalism at its best fearing competing leadership from any quarter!

Music and culture is so much more than just entertaiment, it is who we are, and we've been lost for decades.
Foreign Bling from the top down gets us murder for bling at the bottom!

I do not believe Government should be involved however, the mere existence of a "Ministry of Culture" guarantees mayhem and dismal results.
The natural inclination of artists is to practice their art, not administer those who do, and artists are the last group of people to be administered or marshalled.
In addition we do not honestly assess art because we are too thin skinned to handle reasonable criticism, which makes it politically correct and easy to accept mediocrity.
It is sad what has gone by the wayside.

larry smith

I tend to agree with you about a Ministry of Culture - it sounds very Orwellian, and adding a bunch of bureaucrats is not really a solution - especially in our civil service. Catalyn is very old school, you know.

However, I think the government has a powerful role to play in setting the tone, providing leadership, and organising an enabling environment with incentives. And what is wrong with a national arts council that can raise money from the private sector?

Your point about sensitivity to criticism is well-taken. We are too small and the distance between us too narrow.

malcolm rae

I have two small items to add to your cultural editorial.

1. Why does the National Art Gallery not have the ability to handle credit card sales?

2. The late Brent Malone tried years ago to have the Customs duty on art materials reduced from 45%.

Another effort is being made to lobby the government on import duties for art supplies, but from what you say hell will probably freeze over first!

Steffon A. Grant

" Arguably, our greatest brain drain is in the arts."

Wow! I agree with this 200%! Here's why I believe so: Many of teachers and administrators see the arts (visual and musical arts) as a means to an end. Since you need it to graduate, take it.

They do not see the importance of it and as a result they trivialize it. This kind of thinking is clearly a reflection of ignorance on behalf of both government (deduced from the text) and individuals alike.

"he can't learn so put him in art" "She can't use her head, so let her use her hands"

These kinds of comments from teachers, parents and others cause passionate, creative thinkers to seek acceptance elsewhere. If what I offer is disregarded here, then what's the point of staying where I am not wanted? I bet they want me somewhere else! Art Appreciation starts with Art Education. Awesome passage!

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