Wednesday, June 28, 2006

My one democratic leaning

I agree with this from Alex Ross: the government should fund the arts at a much higher rate.

The grass is much, much greener

The new issue of the Finnish Music Quarterly reveals that the Finnish government is spending 359.5 million euros on the arts this year, of which 60.5 million goes to music. Orchestras are receiving state grants of 12.26 million. Believe it or not, these grants have been described as inadequate, and there are plans to increase them. Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen recently signed a law stipulating that orchestra subsidies should increase by 37% per year over a three-year period. One in five Finns attends an orchestra concert in any given year.

The population of the U.S. is sixty times larger than that of Finland. The current appropriation for the National Endowment for the Arts is $124,406,353, or $99 million euros. So the ratio of Finnish per-capita arts spending to American per-capita arts spending is more than two hundred to one.


Ryan Kelly said...

"My one Democratic leaning" - LOL

I don't have a problem with the U.S. giving more to the fine arts...assuming they do not raise our taxes and redirect other monies from other programs. Like Planned Parenthood. Or Welfare. Or...

Actually, I take that back. I do have a problem with the U.S. funding the arts. That is not what government is for. The government is to protect the nation. Forcibly taxing citizens to pay for concerts is gross misappropriation of power.

Oh yeah, forget to mention I'm a Republican... And since there's some "confusion" these days about what a real Republican is, I must qualify with "Reagan conservative."

scivley said...

Honest question: We were forcibly taxed to pay for a superdome to house arena football… Why is that different?

Clayton said...

Scivley said it all for me. Sports gets so much more media attention than us (musicians). Don't get me wrong, Im athletic, I workout, I love football, but how is it that the university can justify paying a student full-tuition for 4 years for shooting a .22 rifle at a little target 25 yards away? Makes me sick!

Oh, Im talking about the UAB rifle team, which is great. I love them. But how does that get you any farther in life? Music does.

Man from Manila said...

We Filipinos envy first world countries such as the US, Finland Germany etc. since there government supports the artists society and gives financial assistance to deserving performing arts group, sad to say in a country where there is an enormous pool of talent in the performing arts such as the Philippines the government nary lift a finger to make efforts although these people continues give pride and honor to this tiny group of island in the pacific.. A good example is our local choral groups, How could you not support such amazing talents:

Philippine Madrigal Singers, regarded as having the most beautiful sound on earth and regarded as Asia's Premiere Choral group ( )
Just Recently won the grand prix de la ville de tours ( )

UST Singers,awarded as the Choir of the World
and awarded Best Choir in the World twice at the World Choral Festival in Mexico 2001, 2004; Best Choir at the Tonen 2000 Netherlands sweeping all first prizes; 5 Gold Prizes sweep in all five categories in the Mundi Cantat Festa Musicale in Olomouc, Czech Republic;4 first prizes at the 37th Concorso Internazionale di Canto Corale “C.A. Seghizzi 1998 (2) First Prizes, two 2 Jury Prizes and two 2 Public Prizes at the 41st Concorso Internazionale di Canto Corale in Gorizia, Italy; ( )

The UP Concert Chorus,
The UP Singing Ambassadors;;2005 Certamen Internacional de Habaneras y Polifonia de Torrevieja, Spain-1st prize, Polyphony category,
Best Interpretation of a Habanera,
Premio del Publico (Prize of Public)(read: )

The Philippine Saringhimig Singers, World's Best Choir, World Choir Festival 2003( )

The Ateneo College Glee Club, Grand Winner Florilege Vocal De Tours 2000,

The Ateneo Chamber Singers,

The UAP Chorale 3 gold medal sweep, 2005 23rd International Choral Festival of Preveza

The Loboc Children's ChoirOverall grand winner regadrless of age catergory,
Europe and its Songs 2003
( )( )

These choir manage to travel and compete in these tough competitions through corporate sponsorships and endless local concertizing to raise funds.
But without any amount coming from the government, that's why they usually turn down invitations to sing abroad in front of prominent audiences such as european Monarchs, The US President, The Pope etc. simply because they can't raise money for airfare and accomodation that easily. Still these groups never fail to deliver and they have already proven their worth as worthy opponents in every major choral competions they compete in. But one thing that always amazes me is the fact that there is no big choral scene in our country and the only choral competition i know is the NCYM National Competition for Young Musician, still we produce some of the best choirs in Asia and probably in the whole world.

Our singing talent as a people is not only in classical music but also in any other musical genre there is...we have Lea Salonga of the Miss Saigin and Les Miserables fame and a bunch of Pinoy (slang term for Filipino) theater artist who wowed broadway and London audiences. Lea was even awarded a TONY Award and a Lawrence Oliviere for her Miss Saigon performance.

We are also the defending overall champion in the World Championship of the Performing Arts... a fete done in very impressive fashion and on the first time we joined the competition.

And now that we have our own philippine idol contest, I have a gut feel that the next World Idol will be from this small group of islands in the far east...take it from British Fremantle Media producer Sheldon Bailey - read: ( )

This year 5 of the choirs mentioned above will try to compete either of the 6 of the qualifying competitions (Varna, Debrechen, Gorizia, Arezzo, Tours, Tolosa) for the European Grand Prix and if luck will go there way 4 of them might qualify for the Gran Premio and that would be a first in the history of the EGP...Now if that happens, i hope our own national budget for the arts will be augmented.

Philippine Madrigal Singers has already earned a slot by winning in Tours less than a month ago, others will compete in the coming months...keepin my fingers crossed..