Mudcat Café message #2316328 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #110427   Message #2316328
Posted By: Ruth Archer
15-Apr-08 - 12:40 PM
Thread Name: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
Steve, I think what Eliza has said represents the feelings of people beyond the classical audience, and there are a LOT of those people. They see a huge proportion of government subsidy - their money - spent on a minority music which is largely still too expensive for ordinary people to experience live on a regular basis. Having done outreach work in an orchestral context, I can tell you it can cost something like 5 times as much even to deliver an education project than an equivalent project in other music genres. Classical is a largely inaccessible genre for many people, yet it still receives a disproportionate level of funding, and in my opinion, status. Why? Well, as Eliza sayts, many years ago the powers that be in the arts annd arts funding sectorsa decided that classical music (and opera, and dance) represented the "best" of human achievement, and it was "good for us" to have it in our society, and as a result it has been funded out of all proportion to its actual audiences. It's a "top-down" approach to arts subsidy.

Admittedly, a lot of people aren't folk enthusiasts, either. The big difference, for me, is that folk is this country's national music, but it doesn't achieve the status, airtime or funding that classical does. And as a result, it is much more a "bottom-up" approach to arts engagement - its music that comes from people, not just from orchestras and programmers and the insitutionalised arts infrastructure.

I completely agree with Eliza's final paragraph. For once, the Proms will be relevant to me.