Thursday, October 09, 2008

Vote for the MFA President

This week in Time Out New York, we concocted, if I may say so myself, a nifty little survey of the financial clusterfuck's impact on the local arts scene. I did the dance and classical entries myself, and in the process got to talk to quite a few of the cool people who make this town move. Well, perhaps it would be more accurate to say the people who make those who move move. Ayee, I seem to have entangled myself into an Escher kind of a sentence here.

One of the things that really struck me—and it should strike you as well if, as I hope, you follow those links—is that arts organizations and artists themselves are phenomenally resilient and resourceful. They stretch dollars to the limit, do a lot with little, and make the most of actual resources without making nutty plans based on thin air.

Just look at the sheer number of arts institutions, from Carnegie Hall to La MaMa, from BAM to Danspace—that manages to endure in New York—and we're talking decades here. And where is that longevity on Wall Street or in the so-called business community? They're supposed to be all about the bottom line, and they've proven completely clueless.

George W. Bush notoriously was our first "MBA President." Considering the mess he put us in, we should send an MFA President to the White House.

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