"Pointing at the board", isn't the issue. The perpetrators are those responsible. Yes, that -does- likely implicate board members, maybe marketing, maybe philanthropy, likely much of the community and stakeholders at large. It is likely likely a combination of all three. Often even the dancers themselves. Because of the attitude that the arts are some sort of diversion, even dancers may have play into their own treatment. (I doubt it.) But, they are -not- ultimately responsible for being dropped like lead balloons. It also is about the memetic cultural attitude towards the arts and artists. Let me repeat my point was "it doesn't matter why": in the end it is always the artists who get the shaft. To that -everyone- is responsible in the community. To refute is simply denial.
All the ideas of "local arts are alive and well", marketing, or the dubious, "dancers should form their own company" (a naive but great idea that has been tried as many times as it has failed, thus, borders upon delusional in not understanding that these artists are full time -professional- dancers....not amateurs diddling around in a garage loaned by someone's dad!).
The long and short of it is this and only this: Dancers and artists are always the ones who get the blame and the shaft! It doesn't matter what the reason excuse or (as much of the above commentary reveals) rumor about why a company goes belly up: inevitably, it is dancers and artists who suffer. Meanwhile, the real perpetrators resign and wash their hands, turning their backs not just in dance, but all the arts.
It is a trend in this country. No wonder so many artists struggle with poverty mentality: usually when introduced to a new person they are recognized as "graceful" but strange and beautiful, followed by the question, "So, what do you do for a living? " which is so maddening that it is no wonder that we live in a country that regularly institutionalizes ignorance as honorable.
Artists are simply treated like low level blue collar workers who are as considered as expendable as the garbage truck drivers were in mod-1960s Memphis. (If you don't know this historical reference, I suggest reading your recent history texts before taking your GED exam! )
Oh yeah, sure: it was their choice to go into such a precarious field, right? After all, the arts are just a luxury, a lark, not needed or wanted by a society that mistakes art for warblers like Beyoncé and Lady Gaga. A society that collectively believes Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey are not simply great judges of talent, but of good character as well. A society where being involved in a scandal can be the path to fame, fortune and the adoration of millions. Why bother with art in a country who is on the verge of consensually realizing the statement by 1980s rocker Wendy O. Williams, "I hate art"?
Does it really matter Charleston Ballet was shut down? When it comes to it, it was about money. Who cares if Charleston has two professional ballet companies? Charleston should be proud of that! Ultimately it was about who got the best funding. As most of the development officers would tell you with any 501c3, "philanthropy is dead." And, philanthropy is as dead as true art is becoming in the US as a whole.
Powered by Foundation
© Copyright 2017,
Charleston City Paper