Is Arts Outreach Futile?

The need to widen public access to the arts has become a modern political mantra. If government is to fund the arts, the argument goes, then the arts must be made available to as many people as possible. They must be made accessible to new audiences, especially to young audiences, by opening doors, by cutting or abolishing entrance costs – and by reaching out to the public through activities such as the opera workshops in East End schools. The virtue of such efforts as these is now so universally accepted that it is striking to discover that many in the arts have got their doubts about aspects of it, and that those doubts are increasing.”