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Some people believe that government funding of the arts is necessary to ensure that the arts can flourish and be available to all people. Others believe that government funding of the arts threatens the integrity of the arts.

Write a response in which you discuss which view more closely aligns with your own position and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should address both of the views presented.


The question of whether the government has a role to play in the arts is certainly fascinating and one which has plenty of proponents on both sides. We know that the subject of arts constitutes everything from literature to architecture, a subject so diverse that we would be foolish to lose it. Let alone loose, due to a lack of government funding.

One of the main reasons government support is essential to the arts is simply to keep it alive. Today, many students enrol in art schools to become future Picassos, Stephen Kings and Marlon Brandos. It would be a shame if we had to stop passionate young individuals from pursuing their dreams simply because funding at public universities diminished. Further, the new book we read, the new buildings that come up and new films we watch would all but gradually disappear without the government supporting these programmes at universities.

Moreover, it is not just our schools we should be worried about. Art has a major role to play in boosting the economy as well. The same economy which benefits everyone, including the government, stands to gain tremendously from tourists all the way from China to Mexico. Thousands from cities like Florence now have stable full time jobs, as translators and museum tour guides. Many more have opened up shops and restaurants to cater to the tourists. The income generated from these revenue sources is by no means small. In India, the entire city of Agra is built around catering to thousands, who flock every single day to see the Taj Mahal. It is certainly in the government’s best interest to maintain these sites and ensure the support structure is intact.

Additionally, arts as a subject is increasingly becoming important to foster debates. We all get much of our information through the media. From journalists, who more often than not have completed an arts degree. Every day, we read high quality opinion pieces and editorials. These are the very ideas which encourage people to debate. It is essential for a democracy, that ideas and debates are encouraged. The number these debates would surely drop down if governments decided to discard these subjects.

However, there is validity when some say the government has no place in funding the arts and that it is beyond their purview. Their view is not entirely without merit. But like it or not, the government’s role in fostering and supporting the independent arts is extremely important for a well-rounded country, which encourages free thinking. There are high chances that a country, whose government, does not actively support the arts is in all probability, poor, dictatorial or heading nowhere or some combination of the three.

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