Friday, August 15, 2008

Arts Advocacy Update LIV

The content below is from Americans for the Arts' Cultural Policy Listserv, email blast of August 13, 2008:

Program Provides Arts Funding For the Homeless
Downtown LA Scene, 8/8/2008
"In an effort to determine if participating in the arts can help house the homeless, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission last week announced that it has awarded $90,000 in grants to five area organizations."
I know this isn't funny, but this is hilarious. Sorry, you ain't got a home, but look at all that creativity! Ass, please meet head. Yep, shake hands, too.

U.S. shifts 'hearts and minds' fight
Christian Science Monitor, 8/7/2008
"Nearly seven years after the 9/11 attacks spawned the question, 'Why do they hate us?' and made the repair of America's poor international image a top foreign-policy pursuit, the Bush administration is taking a new tack in the 'war of ideas.' Out, or at least de-emphasized, is the effort to explain America and its widely disdained foreign policy. In, on the other hand, is a focus on defeating terrorism and in particular radical Islam by largely leaving America out of the equation. The plan, instead, is to promote alternatives to radical violent extremism and nurture the local forces deemed best suited to countering it. 'The key' to the new approach is 'that the US is not at the center of the war of ideas, [and in that way] we can accomplish our goals with people who don't necessarily like our policies,' says James Glassman, the newly appointed undersecretary of State for pubic diplomacy. 'The focus becomes defeating an ideology – not making ourselves liked.'"
Or maybe if we didn't extra-constitutionally elect Republican war criminals...

In the slumping economy, the show goes on
Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, VA), 8/10/2008
"The economic downturn is reverberating among local arts groups more like a stage whisper than a Shakespearean bellow. No high drama yet. But many of these nonprofits are bracing for a stormy second act. . . . At least one item will be missing from some groups' arts budgets this year: 'nonstate agency' funding, which is appropriated directly by the General Assembly to a smattering of nonstate museums, charities and arts organizations."
I also think we should stop funding people who overuse theatrical metaphors.

Reviews for state’s film tax credit aren’t good
Providence Journal (RI), 8/12/2008
A study of Rhode Island's tax incentive program for filmmaking "suggests that Hollywood may be making out far better on the deal than Rhode Island. The state gets back 28 cents for every dollar it gives up to the production companies, according to a recently released state Department of Revenue analysis. That’s an investment return of negative 72 percent." However, "[t]he cost-benefit analysis focuses only on direct economic benefit to the state — namely increased tax receipts — while ignoring the indirect benefits and impact on the economies of cities and towns. The report is also based on general projections and doesn’t look at the details of the production costs of each project."
But think of how those three people benefit...

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1 comment:

Rolando Teco said...

As a film producer who recently worked on a project that poured millions of dollars into the Lithuanian economy, I have to say I find these anti-tax incentive arguments specious.

Film crews need hotel rooms, catering, transportation, not to mention equipment and help from local crew who actually reside in the state.

Even on my low-budget film, We Pedal Uphill, we spent thousands of dollars on such things in New Mexico, Nebraska, Louisiana, California and upstate New York.

Calculating a precise dollar amount per production per state is near impossible.