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While I agree with your argument that the country doesn't do enough to support the arts, I think you're going too far when you say there are no artists. I know a lot of them that are writing, still doing it in shacks on the Cape (provided by Provincetown Arts), or on an island off the coast of maine (Frontier Arts), or somewhere else in New England (Bennington Arts, Yaddo, MacDowell). Heck, I once found a berth at the Fundacion Valparaiso for a while in Mojacar, Spain, right on the Mediterranean. They gave me a room, fed me, cleaned my clothes, provided lots of wine, and refused to allow any electronic media on the premises. It was wonderful, and I shared that experience with a Nigerian painter, a Bosnian Muslim printmaker, an American poet, a Mexican dancer, and others from Europe. There are still lots of possibilities out there for painters, writers, poets. It's not entirely bleak. I think the American arts scene is still pretty vibrant. In Rochester, NY, near where I live, the students graduate the great music school they have there and quite a few of them are them hosted by community arts programs. One group, Jazz musicians, joined up to make a fusion band out of Jazz, Math Rock and a few surprising twists of their own. A local university gave them free room & boarding in return for a concert on campus every Friday night.

In my local community of Buffalo, there is so much to do in terms of the local arts that one could literally go to three events every night of the week. There are even 6 nationally recognized reading series here that bring writers in from all over the world.

by Upstate NY on Wed Aug 9th, 2006 at 07:19:53 PM EST
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Where did I say there were no artists?

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire
by p------- on Wed Aug 9th, 2006 at 09:44:03 PM EST
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Maybe I jumped to conclusions when I read these lines...

Generations ago you could make a living in this country being an artist. You used to be able to live on the Cape in a shack and write for a year, now only millionaires can afford a shack on th Cape.  And if you do make it, there is insane pressure from publishing companies to pump out material.  It's all about the bottom line.

and...  

Arts?  I know a lot of artists, but they all have day jobs.  Usually of the retail or numbers crunching variety.  It's killing their souls.

I just assumed you were saying that the artists you know can be generalized into a multitude of artists who have 9 to 5 jobs that are killing them.

by Upstate NY on Wed Aug 9th, 2006 at 10:29:59 PM EST
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It is certainly vibrant. In Minneapolis and Boston (the cities I have lived in) my experience was similar to yours - there was no shortage of artists, support networks for said artists, or events / showings. Lack of public funds is a problem, but in this wealthy country private donations and philanthropy are very extensive and do more good than people tend to acknowledge.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Thu Aug 10th, 2006 at 02:39:29 PM EST
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