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Kamarck, Edward (ed.) / Arts in society: tenth anniversary issue

[Unfulfilled opportunities in the arts: a symposium],   pp. [7]-24 PDF (17.0 MB)

Page 16

16      1 am suggesting that even if and when
tests were developed that could show the
extent to which certain "art-engendered"
outcomes had been achieved through art
experiences, those concerned with the arts
and their utilities would still find themselves
having to "prove" that the utilities were
worth working toward in the first place.
To establish and secure widespread
acceptance of the worthiness of those
utilities is therefore the first item on the
agenda of everyone who cares about art
experiences and the things they claim are
engendered by these experiences. That is
why it is important, in any art enterprise
to set aside some portion of the budget
of time, money, and personnel to evaluation
of the enterprise - rigorous evaluation,
following the most advanced canons of
methodological procedure. If this is not
done the "society" of arts will find itself in
the same position as other "underdeveloped
societies" which, upon being given
fresh infusions of capital and resources
with which to develop, consume all the
capital in their enthusiasm for gratifications
which they have long awaited. Once
these gratifications are momentarily
achieved, they end, and there are no
capital resources on which to build for the
future. In the United States today, art
may be thought of as an underdeveloped
social and cultural segment. If now the
federal government and other powerful
agencies are willing to extend "aid" in the
form of basic capital investment heretofore
never granted the arts, much of that
capital had better be used as much for
strengthening the foundations of the claims
of art as for the provision of art
experiences, or else there will be only
shortlived enjoyment for a few and
then nothing.
Statement by Ralph Burgard', Executive
Director, Associated Councils of the Arts.
By tradition, the arts are an urban
phenomenon. Our museums, symphonies,
theaters, and operas thrive at the center
of population clusters where a concentration
of potential audiences and funds will
support their program. However, the
character of this urban matrix has been
changing with incredible speed. The riots
this past year only accentuate some
long-festering problems created in part when
an automobile-dominated technology
destroyed the intimate scale of urban life,
driving the middle class to suburbia while
sucking in masses of unskilled immigrants
and relegating them to poverty-stricken
slums. Almost every major city faces the
prospect of becoming a dwelling-place
for either the very rich or the very poor
in the next 15 years.
How will these changes affect the arts?
It is now economically and technologically
'Mr. Bugard's statement has been excerpted by
him from his book, Arts in the City: Organizing and
Programming Community Arts Councils, published
by the Associated Councils of the Arts, 1564
Broodway, New York, N. Y. 10036.
1968. 150 pp. $4.00.

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