Ahead of the Arts Council’s funding announcements today, Mark Littlewood, Director General of the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:
“Popular arts don't need subsidies. Unpopular arts don't deserve subsidies. If the arts funded by the state really do enrich our lives sufficiently, then it won't be, and isn’t, difficult to persuade people to contribute. But there's no justification in forcing people to contribute.
“Shakespeare and other greats flourished through philanthropy. Yet state subsidy of the arts squeezes out the great history of patronage in the arts and instead pushes the agenda of a small elite with no personal stake involved.
“The business case sometimes made, for example by the Film Council, for state funding is nonsense. Of course investment in films will occasionally net a return but this should be a decision for private individuals not quangos.”
To arrange an interview with Mark Littlewood, IEA Director General, please contact Ruth Porter, Communications Manager, 077 5171 7781, 020 7799 8900, firstname.lastname@example.org .
Notes to editors
The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems.
The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.