Now that’s what I call arts funding

This is from Alex Ross’s blog “The Rest is Noise.” Can America really call itself a civilized or learned society anymore?

The new issue of the Finnish Music Quarterly reveals that the Finnish government is spending 359.5 million euros on the arts this year, of which 60.5 million goes to music. Orchestras are receiving state grants of 12.26 million. Believe it or not, these grants have been described as inadequate, and there are plans to increase them. Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen recently signed a law stipulating that orchestra subsidies should increase by 37% per year over a three-year period. One in five Finns attends an orchestra concert in any given year.

The population of the U.S. is sixty times larger than that of Finland. The current appropriation for the National Endowment for the Arts is $124,406,353, or 99 million euros. So the ratio of Finnish per-capita arts spending to American per-capita arts spending is more than two hundred to one.

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About the author

American conductor, composer and cellist Kenneth Woods is Principal Conductor of the English Symphony Orchestra, Artistic Director of the Colorado MahlerFest and cellist of the string trio Ensemble Epomeo. He records for the Avie, Somm, Nimbus, Signum, MSR and Toccata labels.

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