Saturday, August 16, 2008

Arts organizations not responsible, businesslike or self-sufficient?

At least that's what I think he is saying:

"What's really frustrating from our perspective is that the Conservative government is removing a program that enables institutions to do what the government wants them to do, which is become more responsible, more businesslike, more self-sufficient," said Shawn Van Sluys, executive director of the Canadian Art Museum Directors' Organization, in an interview.

The $27.1-million Canadian Arts and Heritage Sustainability Program was created in 2001 "to strengthen organizational effectiveness and build capacity of arts and heritage organizations."

If, as Van Sluys seems to suggest, the program has been unable to achieve its objectives after seven years, then perhaps we whould admit failure and shut it down. At some point, the government must stop holding the hands of arts administrators if they refuse to grow up. There is no reason for this program to continue into perpetuity.

Heritage Minister Josée Verner is right. It is time to look at new and better ways of supporting the arts.