Hard News by Russell Brown

63

A Golden Age for the Arts?

This seems to be a bit of a week for government ministers being snippy on the socials. On the heels of Judith Collins unloading on her critics on Twitter comes this today from arts minister Chris Finlayson:

His tweet was in reply to this one from Labour deputy leader Grant Robertson:

Insofar as public broadcasting -- the area I know a bit a bit about -- contributes to a heathy public life, the picture is pretty bleak. NZ On Air is into its fifth year of a budget freeze and it's starting to hurt. The overall budget for Public Broadcasting Services was actually cut by $3.08 million this week.

On the other hand, let us be clear: the level of public funding for arts and culture may have an impact on the health of the arts sector, but they are not the same thing. You can't measure the vitality and worth of contemporary art and culture by line items in a ministerial Budget. Indeed, some of the best art emerges in hostile times.

But I'm struggling to perceive the "golden age". I'm genuinely unsure what the minister means, or whether he is claming any credit for the cultural bounty he hails.

Your thoughts, people of the arts?

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