Opinion

Arts funding: Patrons, not city, should be the primary sources

The platitudes cited in “Bainbridge’s heart bleeds for the arts” (Nov. 27) are amusing. Of course the arts are good for Bainbridge Island, as is art for any community. We ourselves have long been both producers and patrons in abundance of art.

The question is, who pays for the arts? With their taxes, everybody? Including those who don’t enjoy and partake of arts subsidized by the city? Is that fair to families struggling to make ends meet whose art enjoyment consists of an occasional movie and television?

Rather than subsidize art for others, wouldn’t those families surely prefer to pay lower taxes?

Bainbridge Island will have plenty of art without subsidization by government. And, just as are the amounts and types of shoes, groceries and haircuts consumed, the amount and types of art available will be what patrons are willing to pay for in the form of tickets for performances, direct purchases of literature and art, or contributions to art-supporting organizations.

That’s as it should be, not government expropriating resources from some to support the pleasures of others.

Donald Marsh, Takako Satoh

Bainbridge Island

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