Giving Arts Funding in the U.S. a Kickstart

Kickstarter anticipates distributing more money than the NEA this year(Photo: National Endowment for the Arts)
Kickstarter anticipates distributing more money than the NEA this year(Photo: National Endowment for the Arts)

When arts funding comes up in conversation, the first name that comes to mind is the National Endowment for the Arts.  Would it surprise you that they are not the largest source of arts funding in this country?  Or the second?  Or the third?

“The NEA isn’t even the largest line item in the federal budget devoted to arts and culture—that honor goes to the Smithsonian Institution, with an appropriation from Uncle Sam exceeding that of the NEA’s by a factor of five.”

In the article Art and Democracy: The NEA, Kickstarter, and Creativity in America by Ian David Moss, he stated that “nonprofit arts organizations raise nearly half of their revenue from earned sources such as ticket sales and tuition fees, with the bulk of the remainder coming from individual donations and foundation grants.”

So the next time someone complains to you that the federal government gives too much money to the arts, show them this.

Read Art and Democracy: The NEA, Kickstarter, and Creativity in America (New Music Box)

Thomas Quasthoff Speaks Out

Illness forced German bass-baritone Thomas Quasthoff to retire from a career that was at its peak.  His reasons for retirement went beyond what has been stated, to date.  He spoke to the publication Der Spiegel about his life, career, and the personal loss which contributed to his decision.

Read Der Spiegel interview with singer Thomas Quasthoff (Der Spiegel)

Watch Thomas Quasthoff sing Schubert’s Der Leiermann

…and if you think the only thing he could sing was opera…how about some scat?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkwKK-NjryU&

Young Voices Changing More and More Quickly

When I was barely a teenager my father, who was choir director in our church, came to me and suggested I might need to “sit out” for a while.  Seems he began to notice my tenor voice was heading toward baritone territory.  Now, it seems, more and more boys are experiencing that at an earlier age, much to the chagrin of Stefan Altner, manager of St. Thomas Boys Choir in Leipzig.

Read Leipzig’s St. Thomas Boys Choir Copes with Voices Deepening at a Younger Age (Washington Post)

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