Who Supports the Arts?
Two noteworthy interventions on support for the arts have appeared within the space of just a few months. Both originated from Kyoto: one was Supporting the Arts: The Ecology of American Cultural Policies, edited by Yusuke Hashimoto, the previous program director of this festival, and published by Kyoto Performing Arts Center; the other was Cultural Policy as Denominator, Not Numerator, a thirteen-page booklet published by Mayuko Sano’s New Cultural Policy Project. The former was a 360-page collection of testimonies, primarily interviews with twelve American arts funding professionals, while the latter is just a short booklet, but the guiding principle behind the two publications is a strive to shift from supporters who are already established fans of the arts to the wider general public, to shift from the numerator (part) to the denominator (whole), and both coincidentally assert that the arts are now at this turning point. Our festival is an arts organization like the ones that are the subject of these two publications, and though we are on the other side of the table, so to speak, their basic principles are things that we should surely keep firmly in mind as we move forward. As Hashimoto writes: “During the fundraising process, arts organizations both large and small employ inventive means corresponding to their size and mission, and make efforts to convince others of the value of the arts.” This edition’s core concept is the Japanese word maze maze, literally meaning “mix mix,” and something that encompasses the endeavor to advocate the value of the arts to the public at large as the denominator.
Chair, Kyoto International Performing Arts Festival Executive Committee