Advanced search

To think that £1 billion of tax payers money spent on the arts in this country really only serves a minority

(217 Posts)
goodnessgracious Sun 27-Jul-14 14:32:03

AIBU to think that organisations such as The Royal Opera House (they receive 26 million a year) should be self funding and not relying on tax payers money.
I would have thought that arts funding should be to support up and coming arts or at least arts that will benefit all of society. I really don't understand why certain organisations receive so much help from tax payers?

LadyWithLapdog Sun 27-Jul-14 14:34:59

Without some help some arts would be completely out if reach for all but a small elite. Is that what you want? Why don't you Benefit?

Sirzy Sun 27-Jul-14 14:35:22

But presumably they couldn't operate without the money and therefore we would lose a massive part of our culture?

I think as long as these things are able to show they are taking steps to make themselves accessible to the masses and encouraging people in - many do children's activities and things - then I have no problem with them being partly funded.

LadyWithLapdog Sun 27-Jul-14 14:36:04

PS - if you live in the sticks and choose not to spend your money on the opera or whatever, that's your lookout. YABVU.

goodnessgracious Sun 27-Jul-14 14:37:26

Do most people in this country benefit from the Royal Opera House?

West end shows seem to cope albeit not always. I may be wrong but they don't receive subsidies.

nethunsreject Sun 27-Jul-14 14:37:31


LadySybilLikesCake Sun 27-Jul-14 14:38:02

You could get a ticket and go to watch something. If they had no funding they would close, so you could never get a ticket and you'd never see anything.

By the way, it costs an absolute fortune to stage a show. There's months of rehearsals, costumes, staff etc. The ticket prices would soar if they were self funded. It's the grants which keep them afloat.

goodnessgracious Sun 27-Jul-14 14:40:15

There are many theatre companies that do not receive funding and survive.

LadyWithLapdog Sun 27-Jul-14 14:40:19

West end shows vs ROH. You need to go out more smile

goodnessgracious Sun 27-Jul-14 14:41:31

But more people want to go to the west end than to the Royal Opera House.

It is irrelevant what I would watch.

LadySybilLikesCake Sun 27-Jul-14 14:42:56

I took ds to see a play at the Globe last week (we're in Notts so travelled down). It was one of the best experiences of our lives (so far). I've no idea if it gets public grants though.

goodnessgracious Sun 27-Jul-14 14:42:59

I can understand funding for up and coming artists and small theatre companies starting up. But an accomplished and established company or artist, why are they not commercially viable?

cricketpitch Sun 27-Jul-14 14:45:53

Many things that are taxpayer funded only benefit a minority. Many things that are taxpayer funded will never be available to some.

That is the point of the tax system. We all pay and we all directly benefit from the things that we need or want and benefit indirectly from living in a civilized society, (of which The Arts, Education, sanitation, public parks, health care, pensions, the law etc are all part).


LadyWithLapdog Sun 27-Jul-14 14:48:08

Are you suspecting them of mismanagement of funds or of overpaying their artists?

Last autumn I went to a cheaply staged Nutcracker at Wimbledon theatre. Music on a tape rather than an orchestra, the soldiers out of cardboard, the tree was 2D cardboard as well, the fairies all drab and you could hardly tell one from the other. Awful. This wasn't some poor country ensemble but an English one. I can't see how I can take my DDs again. They didn't like it.

It does matter what you like as you started the thread and obviously think it's not for the likes of you.

goodnessgracious Sun 27-Jul-14 14:48:29

Sirzy But presumably they couldn't operate without the money and therefore we would lose a massive part of our culture?

The thing is the Globe is part of our history so in that way I can understand the subsidies.

Ballet and Opera have their roots elsewhere don't they?

goodnessgracious Sun 27-Jul-14 14:49:54

I haven't said whether I go or not, my OP is asking whether it only serves a minority.

startwig1982 Sun 27-Jul-14 14:51:57

So the royal ballet and the English national opera should not get anything because the idea may have originated somewhere else? Good grief.
For what it's worth I love ballet and opera and am more than happy for some our taxes to support the ROH.

riverboat1 Sun 27-Jul-14 14:53:44

The ROH and similar will be doing plenty of outreach and comunity work as a condition of their funding.

I am not a big fan of opera, but it does go back a long way I in the UK actually, and I think the country is richer for having quality opera and ballet companies. I think it would be really sad if that disappeared, we'd be non-existant on the world map in terms of these two art forms.

AnneEyhtMeyer Sun 27-Jul-14 14:53:53

Most taxes benefit minorities. You can't pick and choose which minorities to support. Most people won't have IVF, that doesn't mean tax revenue shouldn't support it.

LadySybilLikesCake Sun 27-Jul-14 14:54:06

Ballet and opera can enrich lives. Beats sitting infront of the TV watching Eastenders.

goodnessgracious Sun 27-Jul-14 14:56:35

Ok I just checked a random opera production. Stalls tickets start at £154 to £194 per ticket.

I understand if you get a last minute ticket with obscured view right up the top you might be able to find something for around £40.

Hardly for everyone is it?

TheWordFactory Sun 27-Jul-14 14:59:28

A country that does not value the arts cannot caLl itself civilised...

goodnessgracious Sun 27-Jul-14 14:59:33

Startwig So the royal ballet and the English national opera should not get anything because the idea may have originated somewhere else?

I as replying to someone who said it was part of our history.

goodnessgracious Sun 27-Jul-14 15:02:24


I am not saying there should be no funding I am questioning whether it actually makes it available to all.

AnneEyhtMeyer I take your point. You are right, how do we choose? It just seems 7% of all funding going to one institution especially one which I believe is used by a minority.

I could be wrong, which is why I posted here.

squoosh Sun 27-Jul-14 15:06:07

If you live in England enter your postcode on this website to see how much money is spent per person per week on culture where you live.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now