Monday, September 28, 2009

For-Profit or Not-For Profit: that is the question

A fellow blogger wrote a very interesting posting that highlights the economic importance of Art that is often overlooked in the argument for funding. The short of his argument is that even though the arts generate more money than sports, since arts is rooted in the argument in serving the public good, it is often the professional and independent sports teams that get public monies for a new venue. He then goes on to advocate for the arts moving away from the not-for-profit model that is reliant on donors and grant makers into the world of for-profit and business so that it's artists and participants can make a living wage.

This too brings up another issue with the whole not-for-profit model. Not-for-profits, in theory, are created for the public good. If this is true, the organization should have a mission that, if fulfilled, will make the community it serves a better place. Also, the mission should be completely obtainable. Unfortunately, there will always be homeless and hungry, but it is imaginable that one day if there was enough money or support, it is a problem we can solve. Art does not work that way. Art is something that needs to be sustained and grow rather than a problem that should be solved. So with this in mind, does it really fit the not-for-profit model?

This is a big issues and there are many, many, sides to the argument. What is your take?

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