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Relying on cultural philanthropy 'would make arts expensive'

4th August 2010

Adopting US-style arts philanthropy could damage the UK's cultural scene, novelist and journalist Clemency Burton-Hill has argued.

Writing in the Independent, The Other Side of the Stars author noted that culture secretary Jeremy Hunt recently asked the arts world to seek more funding from individual and corporate donors to make up for cuts to the public budget.

Burton-Hill said that her own experiences of this system in New York have been less than positive, explaining: 'Art here is eye-wateringly, and often prohibitively, expensive.'

The writer illustrated her point by stating that tickets to the National Theatre and an opera at Covent Garden can be obtained for as little as GBP 10, while most of London's museums and galleries are free.

However, in New York the average Broadway ticket costs USD 120 (GBP 75), the Metropolitan Opera is priced between USD 100 and USD 250 and even museums will charge an admission fee, she continued.

In May, culture minister Ed Vaizey launched the Big Arts Give, which aims to raise at least GBP 3 million by Christmas this year through matched funding from the trustees and major donors of arts charities.
 

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