Friday, September 30, 2016

And Finally, To End September On A More Positive Note ...

... hmm.  Come to think about it, I headlined my final post for June in much the same way.  Perhaps this could become a quarterly thing.

Well, for one thing, I have a new daughter-in-law, who married my son this past Sunday.  So now, I have two children, two children-in-law, and two grandchildren.  (But only one wife--and, if you're as lucky as I am, you know that's enough).

And in addition, tireless believer that I am in the arts and their many benefits to our society, especially economic ones, I offer this New York Times article on the economic benefits of the arts to the little town of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, a town so small it fits neatly into a limerick with room to spare for a nearby island (warning:  NSFW).

Which once again makes me wonder:  if the arts can have so powerful a benefit on society regardless of the size of the local population (Pawtucket compared to New York City, for example), why in G-d's name can't we do more to encourage them?

No, the government--federal, state, and local--doesn't have endless amounts of money to front.  But why not use tax policy?  If, for example, there are people out there who think that large estates should be tax-free, why not enable that through estate donations to the arts that could be made at lower tax rates, or perhaps even be tax-free at a certain level.

Or maybe, just maybe, we can take a cue from the Pawtucket's cultural and economic affairs officer, who is quoted as saying that all artiss are small businesses.  Maybe we just need to change the insight of investors when they look at artists and the arts.

In any case, we have to do something.  Thousands of towns in this country could be enriched--in more ways than one--by a more forward-thinking policy on the relationship between arts and economic development.

See you in October!

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