Posted by Tina
I guess we had to know this might happen:
After learning that an actor dressed to look just like his father gets brutally murdered on stage in a production of William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Donald Trump, Jr. asked, “I wonder how much of this ‘art’ is funded by taxpayers?”
Well, thanks to some digging by Adam Andrzejewski, founder of the federal watchdog OpenTheBooks.com, we now know the answer:
Data at OpenTheBooks.com shows that over $4.1 million in federal, state and city grants funded the New York Shakespeare Festival (NYSF) – the parent company to Public Theater and its production, Shakespeare in the Park – over the past three years. The total amount since 2009? Nearly $30 million.
The National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) sought to ensure the Trumps that it had not funded this performance, but failed to disclose grants totaling $630,000 to NYSF over the last eight years. Such “art” couldn’t be made possible without those funds.
Question…the FBI paid a visit to Kathy Griffin didn’t they? This play is more organized and practiced…why no visit? Maybe because they haven’t said they wanted to burn down the WH. But what does this play say? what does it inspire…what is the intent of it’s creators? Probably nothing more than high fives and guffaws from bar and party attendees .
City taxes accounted for the bulk of funding. These “charitable enterprises” make it on shoe-string budgets, right? Think again:
According to IRS990 disclosures, NYSF paid-out nearly $20 million in compensation, with $912,646 going to just three highly-compensated employees. Top pay went to Oskar Eustis, the theater’s artistic director and director of this summer’s Julius Caesar. Eustis earned $381,993. Patrick Willingham, the theater’s executive director, received the second-highest amount: $327,088.
Starving artists my Aunt Fanny! The nation (NY and LA) is chock full of wealthy people who can well afford to fund such things.
Related: George Will at National Review, “What’s the ‘Public Purpose’ of the National Endowment for the Arts?”
David Marcus, artistic director of a Brooklyn-based theater project and senior contributor to The Federalist, says the NEA produces “perverse market incentives” that explain why many arts institutions “are failing badly at reaching new audiences, and losing ground”: Many theater companies, even the country’s most “successful,” get barely 50 percent of their revenue from ticket sales. Much of the rest comes from tax-deductible donations and direct government grants.
This means that the real way to succeed as an arts organization is not to create a product that attracts new audiences, but to create a product that pleases those who dole out the free cash. The industry received more free money than it did a decade ago, and has fewer attendees. Furthermore, the NEA’s effects are regressive, funding programs that are, as Paul Ryan’s House Budget Committee said, “generally enjoyed by people of higher income levels, making them a wealth transfer from poorer to wealthier.”
A Shakespeare in the park production that features the assassination of Donald Trump titillates the wealthy left and panders to the beastly senses of the masses…a lose/lose for taxpayers.