Course blog for American University PERF-570, Fall 2014
BBC News reports that the Radio Academy in the UK has been forced to cancel the Radio Academy Awards (formerly the “Sony Awards”) due to Sony withdrawing its support as major sponsor last year. This is a prime example of this week’s reading reading from the Urban Institute’s Investing in Creativity, as it stresses that a framework of supporting the arts must include validating them through more recognition including grants and awards.
As we mourn the death of the Radio Academy Awards, others have sung a different tune. In this anti-award Huffington Post article, the author slams awards bestowed by private companies. She is haughtily against the Grand Rapids ArtPrize as it has a “hidden agenda” against government-supported art, gives its prizes to art based on popular vote (thus, art that is not controversial), and doesn’t recognize 90% of the artists whose work has a $7 million dollar combined impact on the local cityscape. She feels that “The moral of the story is that if artists insist upon getting what they deserve they are more likely to get it. On the other hand, when artists go chase brass rings, they get led around by the nose and find themselves fulfilling other people’s agendas.”
While I appreciate that she does not care for superficial reasons such as chasing prize money to create art (as do I), she shouldn’t be so critical of all companies who have set aside the time and resources to recognize artists.