I don't know why it hasn't occurred to anyone yet but our country is in deep troubleI agree with Laura. Part of my motivation for working on this new paradigm is to get out from under the old one before it starts to collapse. The regional theatre's reliance on government and foundation grants to fill in half of the annual budget each year seems non-sustainable to me. We all know that when times are hard, the arts are the first thing to get cut. So while the editors at Backstage are skipping about having the NEA budget restored to 1995 levels, we should all be watching how the markets deal with this mortgage situation, and how our society starts to change as gas prices soar over $4 this summer.
financially. And I'm astonished at the lack of perception among many of artists/writers who insist that things are going to be normal for our country. They aren't. Many are still insisting that government will support the arts, when we are, in effect, broke. I don't think our credit-based economy can hold up against the mad printing of money by the Fed.
I'm not the only one who is starting to see the elephant in the room. Standard issue economists - the ones who aren't whack jobs are seeing it as well. It's not being addressed in the arts/culture community and I'm concerned about it.
You might think that this is just business as usual for theater Scott, and maybe it is. But I'm willing to bet that there's going to be more of it down the line. Artists and writers - myself included - usually steer clear of business affairs. Most of them are like me - going into heavy debt to pay for schooling for a career where I'll be lucky to make a living wage. Money has always been a blind spot for most of us, and judging from the reaction to NYTW's firings, it will
continue to be.
I hope it serves as a wake-up call for all writers (not just in theater) who are still living by the old
financial paradigm. After all, it isn't just theater that's having a hard time. Newspapers are feeling it as well. But like you, I don't have much hope for people receiving the message. It seems to be human nature to only learn lessons when there's pain involved in the equation.
Anyway, not meaning to be an alarmist. What we're seeing is related and ultimately will lead to the same thing: Artists and writers suffering needlessly.
What do you all think? Chicken Little? Or are we playing ostrich?