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英国Master essay硕士课程格式范文:Should governments subsidize the arts

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The piece of writing you should submit must address ONE of the following options, and should be 2,000 words in length:
Write a reflective piece about an issue pertinent to the cultural and creative industries
Should governments subsidise the arts? Explain your answer using relevant examples to illustrate your points
Your essay will demonstrate your ability to:
Investigate the topic/question
Source apposite material
Undertake original research
Construct a coherent argument
Use appropriate evidence and source material to support your arguments, such as textbooks, journal articles, newspaper articles and internet sources. Please include AT LEAST five sources. Ensure that you cite these using the Harvard referencing system and provide a full bibliography at the end of your essay. 
We will be using plagiarism software to check that your essay has not been submitted by another student or to another institution, either in whole or in part; if you are found to have plagiarised then your application will be immediately rejected. Our system will detect self-plagiarism, i.e. if you have submitted any portion of your essay to another UK institution; your essay must therefore be original and specific to this applicatio
Should governments subsidize the arts?
1.0 Introduction
Since the 20th century, the market for culture becomes more and more perfect, the channels for artists to obtain profits through their work have also become more open. However, it turns out that some art products still can not be fully rewarded, and the old problem of artists’ poverty has not yet been satisfactorily solved. They can create art that the public needs only if their life is safeguarded, and it can not be ensured simply by relying on the market (Keynes, 2012). Then whether governments should subsidize art? This issue has long been one of the major issues of social debate. This essay will cite relevant scholars' theories and views as well as cases to discuss the issue from the three aspects of art's publicity, independence and commercialization. Finally, the author puts forward his own opinion about that.
2.0 Main Body
2.1 Publicity of art
Keynes (2012) repeatedly emphasized that art is part of public cultural life and that it is governments’ responsibility to provide the public with good art. If ancient grace hosts’ sponsoring art is based on personal hobbies and needs, then social and government funding of the arts is based on concerns for public cultural life. "Publicity" is the main reason for all the support for that governments should sponsor art (Keynes, 2012). Mulcahy (1982), Knulst (1983), Bogt and Tillema (2016), Zheng (2017) also pointed out from the perspective of the public nature of art that there are three reasons for why governments should subsidize art. First, art brings an external effect on society as a whole, such as the cultural heritage preserved for future generations, the contribution to liberal arts education, and the collective benefits brought by artistic innovation (Mulcahy, 1982; Zheng, 2017). Second, the enjoyment of art is an acquired taste, and many members of the public lack the knowledge and experience to make informed choices (Mulcahy, 1982; Knulst, 1983). Third, considering fairness, all citizens, at a minimum, should have certain access to human art and cultural heritage, which requires the use of subsidies to overcome the high prices and low-income barriers as well as the geographical barriers to enable people to have an access to specific cultural and art products and services (Mulcahy, 1982; Bogt and Tillema, 2016).
However, many scholars have also questioned the provision of government sponsorship because of the publicity of art. Heilbrun and Gray (2001) pointed out that art promotes national identity and prestige, but the national pride may be the evil of this era, which should not be subsidized. Or, before getting artistic subsidies, people should not only prove that subsidies are a possible way to achieve effective goals, but also confirm that this is the lowest cost method. For example, if national prestige is worth supporting, but why they subsidize art instead of sports? Keynes (2012), Heilbrun and Gray (2001) figured that good art does indeed bring social progress, however, what about those who enjoy bad opera? And there is not a lot of scientific evidence which supports the assertion that art has a good influence on personality or behavior (Peacock, 1969). Williams (1989) analyzed that governments’ subsidies for art amounts to forcing all classes to subsidize a particular class, and that all taxes levied to provide subsidies inevitably affect the consumption of some people. Take opera as an example, some taxpayers prefer to spend money on unsubsidized films, to subsidize opera undoubtedly will harm the interests of this part of the public.
2.2 Independence of art
Keynes (2012) found that it is not easy to help artists. Governments must subsidize the arts, but they can not hinder the independence of artists. Keynes (2012) and Mulcahy (1982) thought that this is entirely possible. Therefore, it should not oppose the government-sponsored art in the light of the possible infringement of artistic independence. Taking Music and Arts Association for example, it gains funds from the Ministry of Finance, and the Education President, but it is not an official agency, its policy is to give the power of artistic control to the relevant groups and individuals. The artists are based on their own willingness to show different talents and goodwill. Keynes (2012) was aware of the risk of governments’ subsidizing art, thus he re-emphasized the particularity and freedom of artistic creation: considering its nature, an artist's work has personal characteristics in all its aspects and it is free, unrestrained, unorganized and uncontrolled. An artist can act according to his own spirit and it can not ask him to move towards a certain direction. Mulcahy (1982) commented that the mission of official agencies is not preaching, censorship, but encouragement, enhancing confidence and provision of opportunities. 
Keynes and other scholars proposed that the principle of government-sponsored art, which is theoretically almost perfect, but in reality, this is not the case. Williams (1989) found that in Europe, art funding mainly comes from central or local governments. Such grants are relatively simple, fixed and concentrated, they are mainly implemented by large cultural departments. At the same time, the artistic talents have a strong political nature because they usually belong to the civil servant sequence or belong to the political beneficiaries of the ruling party. It is worth noting that this system provides smooth and steady funding for art institutions, at the same time, it also potentially separates artists as "insiders" and "outsiders." Accordingly, the inside art groups receive substantial funding each year, while those outside art organizations receive very little funding (Williams, 1989). The same situation is also found in the United States. It is difficult for the government to work hard, fairly and widely to draw the opinions of art experts and the public to achieve fairness and justice. The reason is very simple, the logic of government's operation is not consistent with the logic of art production. An important feature of culture and the arts is that there is no universally accepted evaluation criterion for artists and art products. It is very difficult for governments and their represented public opinions to correctly evaluate art creation (Heilbrun, and Gray, 2001).
2.3 Commercialization of art
Keynes (2012) deemed that state support for art can achieve the self-financing of art, and ultimately achieving its own development without the aid of state subsidies, and at the same time it can contribute to the social and economic development. The most notable case is the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, the establishment of the museum has contributed to the regeneration of a declining urban area and has succeeded in shaping a new regional style and image, which is taken as an important case of promotion of urban regeneration by art. Mulcahy (1982) further pointed out that there is more protection for an artist's independence in creation after the realization of self-financing by art, and they can create more excellent and more artistic works without the control of market economy and money, of course, it's good, but in reality it's another story. First, even with state funding, the number of cases in which art institutions are able to achieve self-financing is small, one third of the artists in Austria fell below the poverty line by 2008. In the early 2000s, in most countries, very few large theaters, bands or public libraries were likely to reach the break-even point simply by payment from their frequent visitors (Heilbrun and Gray, 2001; Peacock, 1992). Since the 1960s, through advertising and sponsorships, art has been put under a new market pressure. Various business standards and awareness influence the creation of art. Art creation has become a business, even though they have state's support. Lastly, those reputable arts agencies have received large sums of money from art council, but they were not only used as art but also as an attraction for touring, and they were used in commercial entertainment (Williams, 1989)). In the current social conditions, art can not possibly achieve self-financing because of receiving government subsidies, and it will not certainly be able to achieve its independence from commercial attacks and influences.#p#分页标题#e#
3.0 Discussion
The author's opinion about this argument is supporting governments’ subsidies for art. The reasons are elaborated from the following three aspects.
3.1 Discussion on the publicity of art
Art is the combination of human and social consciousness, spirit, civilization, and aesthetics. It is a valuable spiritual asset of human society. It is of great significance to the existence and development of human society and its inheritance. Therefore, the public nature of art is an undeniable, many scholars’ justifying asking the government for subsidies on the grounds of the public nature of the arts is appropriate. Judging from the opponents' reasons, the core of their opposition is not opposition to the public nature of art. Instead, it opposes that in the process of subsidizing the arts, governments haves created a series of incidents that harm the public interest. Therefore, it should not oppose governments to subsidize art. Instead, it should oppose some policies and measures that governments currently use to subsidize art, requiring that governments should help the arts to better serve the general public by improving these measures. Improvements can include understanding public demand for the arts, increasing public and experts’ participation in the formulation and implementation of art-subsidized policies, reducing governments’ inappropriate intervention in art-subsidized policies, and formulating remedial policies to make up for the inevitable consequences brought by subsidies for art and so on (Peacock, 1969; Mulcahy, 1982).
3.2 Discussion on the independence of art
Art has its own characteristics, that is, the creation of art should be independent. The idea of opposing governments’ subsidizing art holds that it can easily cause governments’ interfering with the independence of artistic creation. However, the principle proposed by Keynes (2012) is very good for distinguishing between government subsidies and government intervention. The purpose of governments’ subsidizing art is to bring art to the public who are deprived of access to art and to activate public creativity and appreciation of the arts; if there is a universal opportunity for people to come into contact with traditional and contemporary art, new works of art will be in unexpected places. The purpose of governments’ subsidizing art is not merely to protect certain arts but to satisfy the public's cultural needs. In short, opposing bureaucracy, supporting the arts, protecting the freedom of creation, and protecting the rights and interests of citizens is the basic principle of government-sponsored art, so long as governments abide by the principle to subsidize art, those doubts about the independence of art can be dispelled, and in reality, there is a successful case of governments’ sponsoring art without affecting its independence, that is the music and art promotion society in the early 20th century. Therefore, it should not oppose governments’ sponsoring the arts. Instead, it should be concerned about whether governments comply with the principle when they sponsor the arts (Keynes, 2012).
3.3 Discussion on the commercialization of art
One reason for opposing governments’ sponsored art is that it not only does not help to stop the commercialization of art but exacerbates the commercialization of art, which is unfavorable to the development of the arts. However, art commercialization is not based on the state-sponsored art, the commercialization of art began many years before the beginning of capitalism. Lots of the art creation in the world contains commercial elements. Therefore, the commercialization of art today can not be blamed on state sponsorship. it should not oppose the state sponsorship of art but oppose the over-commercialization of art, including the state can not choose which art to sponsor for commercial purposes, it should not for the reason of sponsorship to ask that art should be commercialized, the independence of artistic creation should not be affected, and work of art should not be excessively hyped and exposed for commercial interests (Peacock, 1992).
4.0 Conclusion
The author supports the concept that governments should subsidize the arts, it should not oppose governments to subsidize the arts, but ask governments to help the arts to better serve the public by improving subsidy measures; it should concern about whether governments comply with the principles that they should abide; it should avoid the over-commercialization caused by governments’ sponsoring the arts.
Bogt, H. and Tillema, S. (2016). Accounting for trust and control: Ppublic sector partnerships in the arts. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 37(6), 5-23.
Heilbrun, J. and Gray, C. M. (2001). The economics of art and culture. Cambridge University Press, 240-270.
Keynes, J. M. (2012). The collected writings of John Maynard Keynes. Cambridge University Press, 2, 295-372. 
Knulst, W. (1983). Qualitative criteria and cultural policy: an examination of the normative basis for government policy on art and the media in the Netherlands. Poetics, 12(4–5), 357-382.
Peacock, A. T. (1969). Welfare economics and public subsidies to the arts. Manchester School, 37.
Peacock, A. T. (1992). Economics, cultural values and cultural policies. Journal of Cultural Economics.
Mulcahy, K. V. (1982). The rationale for public culture. CO: Westview Press, 302-322.
Williams, R. (1989). Politics of modernism: against the new conformists. Verso, 190-220.
Williams, R. (1989). Resources of hope: culture, democracy, socialism.Verso, 190-230.
Zheng, J. (2017). Contextualizing public art production in China: The urban sculpture planning system in Shanghai. Geoforum, 82(6), 89-101.


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