Monday, June 28, 2010

Does literature's symbiotic relationship with the academy separate us from the arts community?

From my perspective, with seven years of experience in this field, I can honestly say I feel dance and literature are the two arts most commonly "left off" the catalog of arts disciplines in our country. I'd say that even film, despite its connection to a robust for-profit enterprise, is still more commonly recognized as "art" than writing and dance are. Yet writers are one of only two kinds of artists who receive direct financial support from the National Endowment for the Arts. It's a strange conflict to witness. I've watched literary orgs jump back and forth between arts councils and humanities councils because their programming seems to wear the other hat (or both, or neither distinctly enough for their tastes). And now I feel like I see the community of literary professionals forsaking involvement in the greater arts conversation that could, over time, get us a better seat at funders' tables.

5 comments:

Distorteddogma said...

In Phoenix the two Ballet companies have full time staff dedicated to applying to one endowment, grant, or another. Without that capital they could not survive. That may be the same for poets and other writers, the funds that make your work possible and true to your nature also insulate you from the commercial which might allow self sufficiency at the cost of "true art."
The Phoenix Symphony also competed for the same grants, but has found it better, at least in these economic times, to shift programming to a more "Pops" format that actually brings in more than the few "Blue Hairs" which love (and fund) the Classics but are disappearing by natural attrition.
My full time job allows me to play with my animations, but wife and children also require slices of that time. I think there is no good answer.
Be Well.

Suzanne said...

I like your answer. If you click on the text of this post you can read the whole post over at Dream of the Unified Media.

玫友 said...

生存乃是不斷地在內心與靈魂交戰;寫作是坐著審判自己。....................................................................

Distorteddogma said...

I went and (I'm sure) spoke out of turn with the pen of a laymen. But comments do not seem to be real big on Blogspot, so mine will have the opportunity to stick out as a sore thumb. However, thanks for the link.
Be Well.

MrWrite said...

I have experienced conflict between academic writing profs and my writing style as a creative writer. Even though I think some "writing rules" cross these boundaries, I have had to argue over paper and clas grades.