Govt outsourcing arts funding

Pledgeme, a very cool crowdfunding platform for creative projects in New Zealand, is about to reach a pretty great milestone – raising a total of $1million for creative projects in New Zealand in just over a year.

Crowdfunding is a collaborative way to fund something, and Pledgeme have set up a really successful website where creative projects, in areas including dance, film, photography, music, journalism and theatre, are able to raise the funds they need through online contributions from supporters.

Another crowdfunding platform for the arts sector was formally welcomed today by Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Chris Finlayson. ‘Boosted’ , established by the Arts Foundation, is a philanthropic crowdfunding website for arts projects in New Zealand.

Given how successful Pledgeme has proven, I’m wondering whether we even need a new arts-only crowdfunding platform. Ultimately all arts funding is great and I commend the Arts Foundation for thinking creatively about generating new funds, but I’m concerned about the Minister’s enthusiastic response. Having a greater percentage of arts funding generated from philanthropy has been a priority of this Minister, but the Government shouldn’t just rely on everyone else to fund these projects. Philanthropy can never replace sufficient government support for the arts.

6 Comments Posted

  1. Gregor
    While understanding your stateent regarding libraries, I’m afraid I don’t agreem for one simple reason.
    It is my personal view that government should not compete with private enterprise, and stick to providing only “public good” services. On this basis, I can see no private supplier of library services (outside the specialised niche of academia of course,) and can see a public good in having materials available for short term access in Libraries where people can seek entertainment and facts.
    Putt that against a subsidy to, say Rugby, and you have something of a conundrum. Rugby in NZ generates something in the region of $500 million in gross revenues, and yet receives grnts and subsidies. I think if the current revenue is not sufficient for its needs, the game either needs to increase its charges or reduce its product to fit within its purse. (NB, I am a season ticket holder for a rugby team and so would be affected if subsidies/grants ceased.

    When people in the arts complain that they need more money from “Government” it seems to me that they are saying that their product is not worth what it costs, and rather than either charge enough to cover the bills or reduce the volume of product they have a “right” to free money. There are even some who suggest that this has always been the way of things, which is of course rubbish! THere have always been rich people, who have patronised things they have a particular fondness for, be that a specific artist, a place of delivery such as an opera house, or a class of art; these things were never in the pockets of “government” before the 1st world war that I can find. (yes, I have held season tickets to theatre and opera, and supported some specific events.)

  2. Neither Sports nor Arts are the domain of the government.

    I don’t think it’s as black and white.

    Promotion of sport has a lot of social and health benefits to our society.

    Promotion of cultural pastimes, in the absence of private patronage for such functions, serves an important function within our society as well.

    By you logic Dave, councils would also have no remit in supporting public libraries. Isn’t funding of libraries unreasonable for those who prefer movies?

  3. Neither Sports nor Arts are the domain of the government.

    While specific departments might reasonably sponsor aspects of either (e.g. ACC sponsoring the medical facility at Masters’ Games, or Tourism using ETNZ’s New Zealand as a billboard, or an exhibit of Maori art being sponsores by the Department for Maori Affairs,) the idea that the government should pay (or partially pay,) for some forms of entertainment but not others strikes me as being unreasonable.

    But then I’m just a tax-payer, so what do I know?

  4. I’d welcome splitting art and sports funding evenly. We have far too much sport and nowhere near enough support for the arts.

    I agree with you, Holly.

  5. The issue of arts funding is problematic at a local level too, Holly. You visited our Invercargill art gallery last year and although we have a highly professional gallery we struggle to to survive on the funding we receive. The majority of local funds go to sports. Not so long ago Rugby Southland ended up with a huge debt due to poor management, one part of that debt was a $100,000 drinks bill. Their debts were covered and yet our Gallery runs on little more than that drinks bill and we struggle to get more despite being very efficient and frugal and raising a lot of money ourselves.

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