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Supporting Art & Culture
by Alfred de Grazia


Who Does (and Should) Practice and Create Culture ? (32)

Are sports and games "culture," in the usage of this syllabus, that is, in thinking of a culture-support policy ? (33) Are the best athletic and sports performers aesthetes and aesthetically pleasing to watch ? (34) Are "between-the-halves" spectacles at football games a high form of popular art? (35) Do chess and poker supply more intellectual exercise than cataloguing new acquisitions in a library? (36) Are crossword puzzles a literary exercise? (37)

Are these trick questions or are they of some significance? (38) Can they be handled by logically separating them? (39) By granting them a cultural dimension, as with erecting a skyscraper and almost every thing else that is done ? (40) By assigning them arbitrarily to the non-supportable category? (41) By assuming that they are supported by other groups and agencies well enough? (42) By providing a small office in the culture set-up, with an occasional conference, to keep this enormous cultural activity in view? (43) Since all activities of the government have some cultural dimension, should all spending bills contain a proviso that attention in spending should be given to the creative cultural dimension? (44)

But why stop at government, is there some way of making everyone who is trying to capture the public eye (ear, nose, throat, body) be aware of his public responsibility in the cultural field ("Keep America Beautiful")? (45)

Who are the culture consumers? If all Americans are culture users in the broadest anthropological sense, are they all culture consumers of the narrower category of "higher and better things"? (46)

Is it all right to term these consumers "the culture audience"? (47)

Who should be considered culture producers (or should they be called coproducers along with the creators) in the present context of policy? (48) Only professionals, or amateurs as well? (49) Producers who are part-time as well as full-time? (50) Producers who appear sporadically upon the culture scene, as well as those who dwell in it throughout their lives? (51)

Is the list of professional culture producers in the Appendix complete? (52)

Considering that it is generally accepted American ideal that every person should be allowed the chance for as much education as he or she can handle, should it be (and is it) also the American ideal that everyone should have the creative cultural and artistic opportunities that he or she can handle? (53)

Is everyone a culture producer? (54) Why has there been not national survey to determine the "personal cultural profile" of the American people? (55) How can one stop the interminable argument over whether culture producers are special kinds of people and divided from the mass of people when there is no scientific census of the true cultural bent of ordinary people? (56) Would a sample survey of the American population discover that practically everyone has some talent for some artistic and cultural endeavor, even though it is exercised under poor conditions and unknowingly? (57)

Should cultural activity be fostered in everyone? (58) What would happen it the cultural side were encouraged in every schoolchild? (59) ("If every girl who wished to become a screen star, did strive to become one....)

Should steps be taken to make everyone a "culture lover"? (60)

How many significant culture producers are there in America? (61)

How are the significant culture producers distributed among the various fields of culture and arts? (62)

What is the ideal number of violinists in the country? (63) Of sculptors? (64) Of novelists? (65)

What is the ideal number of symphony orchestras? (66) Of ballet companies and of dance groups? (67) Of book publishers? (68)

Should every form of art and literary activity be supported? (69) Should every art and literary form be tolerated? (70) Is the fact that a form is not supported a reason for tolerating it? (71) Can any form of cultural expression be positively discouraged? (72)

Why not have a sign accompanying the worst culture trash, warning "The Culture General Has Determined That Absorbing This Presentation Is Dangerous To Your Culture"? (73)

Since there are so many school teachers in the country and they make up so large a proportion of culture activists, should they be considered as among the dancers, musicians, writers, etc. who are regularly supported, that is, are part of the culture-support complex? (74)

If our five million schoolteachers have not been able to teach most children, now adults, to do something about their rotting cities, avoiding the abuse of alcohol and other drugs, denying materialistic obsessions, and appreciating art, why should they be given more money to carry on with failure? (75)

What would be the effect upon the size of audiences and upon audience enjoyment if funds were granted to upgrade the paid work of musicians and poets? (76) Would it bring more of them onto the cultural scene? (77) Would the number of musicians and poets soon increase beyond measure? (78)

If a million teachers need a year of educational "retreading to teach art and literature adequately, at a total cost of $11 billion, but ten million promising youngsters can be given vouchers for locating and paying for their own arts and culture education for the same sum, which method is to be preferred and conceivably programed to some degree? (79)

Since it is clear that the U.S. educational system is not tooled up to provide arts education and some forms of cultural education and cannot assume the job except at enormous expenses, would this be an area where the Federal government could experiment with the long-demanded "voucher" system, involving students pursuing the arts and culture by way of script issued to them for paying the costs of instruction and redeemable by the treasury? (80)

Would it be preferable to entrust an enlarged program of training in the performing arts and in many kinds of study and writing to an apprenticeship system administered by labor professional unions? (81)

What are the consequences of an apprenticeship system as against an assembly system of learning culture-activity? (82)

If intelligence and creativity are fostered by a mixing of persons of various backgrounds-ethnic, racial, religious, economic, and educational-should preference in culture support be given diversely composed groups and settings? (83) Is "Americanism" also fostered by such a policy? (84)

How much is the "typical American" satisfied with his or her life style and the way "free time" must be spent? What kind of culture do Americans want to fit into their lives? (85)

Are certain basic blockages commonly found in the American people that prevent them from seeking and achieving a higher level of cultural achievement? (86)

What blocks are set up by the "entrenched interests"? (87)

Are they as formidable as they are often made to appear? (88)

Can one bluntly assert: the American people must change their life style in the years ahead, and their best means of doing so is to become more heavily occupied with those many forms of cultural activity that are inexpensive and satisfying as well as spiritually and mentally productive? (89)

Do the quarter of the nation's children who live in the grossest poverty (according to a Carnegie Corporation Survey) receive a grossly poverty-stricken cultural environment? (90) Does their "access" to advertising, television, and radio messages diminish their cultural poverty? (91) If so, does this at the same time distort their perceptions and ambitions, placing a heavy immediate and future burden upon the state? (92) What kind of culture support would be especially suited to correcting this peculiar concatenation of culture processes if it is agreed to exist? (93)

Should the country have fewer advertising employees and more artists and scholars (assuming these two classes of occupation stand in a reciprocal position)? (94)

What percentage of the graduates of "leading colleges" goes into the fields of the art and culture? (95) What percentage goes into advertising and mass media? (96) Are the proportions acceptable from the standpoint of a national cultural policy? (97) Does the Federal government exercise any leverage on this proportion? (98) May it constitutionally do so? (99) Can it? (100) Should it? (101)

What proportion of the budget of "the leading colleges" comes from government, directly or indirectly (tax deductions, low interest loans and tax exemptions, etc? (102) Does this imply any right of the government to determine college policies in respect to the quality of admissions and the occupations of graduates? (103) Regardless of the answer, should the government cultural policy nevertheless intervene here (as it may anywhere) to redress a basic imbalance in product, to influence admissions procedures against materialistic applicants, etc.? (104) If the "independent" college (or university) is a "sacred cow," why are so many being butchered around the country? (105)

There is much internal quarreling within any given field of culture between the creators and those who develop, promote, and distribute their work: Is the creator the proper person to control the expression of his creation in its entirely? (106) What are the limitations in fact and what should they be? (107)

Can the number of creators be increased by any known methods, or decreased? (108)

What are the known effects of the present public schools on the creation of creators? (109) Of special schools? (110) Of university departments and programs? (111)

Where do the creators work in America? (112) How concentrated are they geographically? (113) Do they live in ghettos of their own making? (114) If so, is this good? (115)

What geographic, economic, social, ethnic, and religious groups produce what kinds of culture creators? (116)

Should the government or any other group attempt to change these proportions? (117) Should any attempts be made to preserve these proportions? (118)

How many creative Americans live abroad? (119) How many have spent some time abroad studying or working as creators? (120) How many creative foreigners have studied or worked in America? (121) What do they feel has been gained by their experience? (122)

Can you think why, in any area of culture, there would be an acceptable reason why the U.S. should be (in relation to population) below the top rank of creative producers? (123)

If history, in all its branches or subjects, has produced both good and bad happenings of all kinds, why is it believed that the art and culture embedded in this history should be equally admired, revered, studied, and supported? (124)

Is the expression "support the art and culture of the future" really saying that one must pick and choose the art and culture of the past, supporting only those that provide moral effects, lessons, techniques, etc. that support in turn the best future vision of the country and world? (125)

The Americans people accounts for half the material consumption of the world; does it produce half of the world's best culture? (126)

Should the executives of public policy in the spheres of literature be instructed to support disproportionately studies and writings that are generally viewed with hostility or indifference by dominant members of the university, professional, scientific, humanistic, publishing, and distribution systems? (127)

Do non-governmental foundations on the whole take more risks than government officials in supporting controversial or more dubious line of intellectual or scientific inquiry or modes of art and literature? (128)

If it is true, as often asserted, that in the U.S. government requires that much of a person's free time be used up in complying with laws and regulations, would it not appear to plan further uses of free time just as free time is discharging? (129)

Or, further, would not some relief from governmental regulations give many people more free time to devote to cultural activities? (130)

Suppose every cultural activity can be pyramid where the apex is the highest-skilled performer and the base contains the most passive nonperforming audience: should we thicken the apex or the middle (moderately active amateurs), or narrow the base? (131) Can a government or society wipe out the base of every pyramid that is, so that every person known something of every cultural activity and is active at least in that sense? (132) Is the task impossible, even if the goal is only a minimal awareness and respect? (133)

On the matter of determining "quality" in culture, who has the right to make a judgment: creators in regard to other similar creators? (134) Impresarios and publishers? (135) Teachers of creative ? (136) Who, then? (137)

On the matter of who has the right to say who has the right to make a judgment of quality, would these be: opinion leaders; trustees and directors; policy-maker: the rich with their dealers; owner of the artifact; who, then? (138)

Is there some magic in study abroad or is it mainly snobbery or simple economic want? (139)

How do Americans studying abroad affect international cultural relations? (140)

Should foreigners be encouraged to come to America for cultural studies? (141)


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