An Arts Agenda: How About Depoliticizing Arts Subsidy?

Britain has a new arts minister. There doesn’t seem to be much for Estelle Morris to do, though. But then again… under Labour, the arts have been shackled to the “grand, if vague, strategy of social inclusion and urban regeneration.” Okay, it’s time to jsutify cultural subsidies again. “The sting is that those who can’t or won’t play this game – and a game it usually is, on all sides – will be denied their ration of subsidy and starved into death or submission. Just about everybody who works in the arts is sick of the administrative grind of compliance and cynical about it, too – once you’ve ticked the boxes marked education project, chair-lift and minorities quota, you know your cheque will be in the post and your accountant can help you channel the money into something more meaningful.”