Democracy and the Arts: The Role of Participation

By Terri Lynn Cornwell | Go to book overview

flows from members of a small segment of the population. The giving decisions of this segment therefore control a large portion of public funds. In short, the charitable contributions deduction "places control of public funds in the hands of a group of people that is not only small in number compared with the population that pays for government aid, but is also demographically distinct -- especially as regards income and education -- from most of those who pay the bill." 73

To debate the merits of subsidy by indirect tax incentives is not the purpose of this book; however, the pattern of decision-making within the arts system is important here. Proponents of the elite theory of art would maintain that the current indirect system works fine as long as an economic class structure remains and major decision-making resides in the upper levels. Those who prefer a more democratic system should examine incentives more carefully to determine what changes would induce greater participation and decision-making on the part of patrons and volunteers. 74

Increased arts participation should lead, as Pateman has suggested, to a participatory society. Brian O'Connell, president of Independent Sector, an umbrella group of nonprofit organizations from across the country, would agree: "The degree and pervasiveness of giving and volunteering in America are certainly major factors in our uniqueness as a country. Perhaps they help explain the very preservation of our democracy." 75d


Notes
1
Kay, "Arts Policy"," p. 12.
2
Ibid., p. 14.
3
Jack L. Walker "A Critique of the Elitist Theory of Democracy"," American Political Science Review, 1966, 60:2 (June), p. 286.
4
Peter Bachrach, The Theory of Democratic Elitism: A Critique ( Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 1967), p. 2.
5
Margaret Jane Wyszomirski, "Philanthropy, the Arts and Public Policy"," Journal of Arts Management and Law, Vol. 16, No. 4, Winter 1987, pp. 21-22.
6
Almond and Verba, Civic Culture, p. 297.
7
James W. Prothro and Charles M. Grigg, "Fundamental Principles of Democracy: Bases of Agreement"," Empirical Democratic Theory, Charles F. Cnudde and Deane E. Newubauer, ed. ( Chicago: Markham Publishing Company, 1969), p. 248.

-76-

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Democracy and the Arts: The Role of Participation
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Figures vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Preface xi
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • 1 - Democracy and the Arts: An American Perspective 1
  • Notes 9
  • 2 - Democratic Theory: General Considerations 11
  • Notes 28
  • 3 - Participation in the Arts: A Historical Perspective 31
  • Notes 45
  • 4 - Participatory Democracy and the Arts 49
  • Notes 76
  • 5 - Democracy and the Arts in Ancient Greece 83
  • Notes 89
  • 6 - Nineteenth-Century American Democracy and the Arts 93
  • Notes 103
  • 7 - Twentieth-Century American Democracy 107
  • Notes 119
  • 8 - Participation in the Arts: Mid-Twentieth Century America 123
  • Notes 158
  • 9 - The Role of Participation: Implications and Recommendations 165
  • Notes 185
  • Appendices 189
  • Bibliography 199
  • Index 209
  • About the Author *
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