Sunday, January 13, 2008

Boston Theatre - A Funeral For Small Arts Groups!

Ian Mackinnon, author of Elect Better Actors has sent the following out in response to the Boston Foundation's latest survey. (Covered by Thomas Garvey here.)

Dear Boston Foundation,

We are inspired by your recent report on Boston cultural groups, Vital Signs. Now we are calling on you to put your money where your mouth is.

You recommend that some small arts groups dissolve. Well, the fact is that funerals cost money. It can be expensive to turn off the lights. We would hate to think that you would issue a report saying some should die off without offering to help them put themselves out of their misery. Small arts groups that choose to go to the great beyond will be giving their lives so that
the arts scene of Boston will be stronger and our city will be seen as World-Class. Often when small arts groups die, there is little closure and bitterness prevails. Instead, they can be encouraged with financial support for final performances and/or paying the last phone bill. They can die with dignity. Perhaps, if the cause truly moves you, you could even fund an
artistic float on First Night memorializing the small arts groups that answered your call.

We, the undersigned, are putting an end to it all, considering it, or sympathizing with those who are doing so. Just think: If you gave a mere $10,000 in 20 $500 grants, 20 groups would be encouraged to die off, be it by grand farewell or neat demise. Other groups, idly thinking of the ultimate sacrifice, could be given the push they need. If that $10,000 does not work, then a new round of Encouragement Grants could be given until arts groups of all sizes have the right funding climate here in Boston.

Oh, and by the way, could you outline what your ideal innovative start-up is in case anyone wants to start a group that could justify your funding something small and new again?

For more information go to Citizens for Art that Responsibly Entertains


Thomas Garvey said...

In case you haven't noticed in "The Exhibitionist," Art, the kind souls at the Boston Foundation have, indeed, offered to defray "funeral costs" for arts groups. In other words, they'll give you a grant as long as it's the last one you ever ask for. You have to admit, they've got balls.

Ian Thal said...

We knew about the BF's chutzpah after they gave that grant to Citi Performing Arts Center when CPAC was under fire for the huge bonus given to Spaulding.