AWD Founder and Co-Chair Jennifer Warren’s Letter to the Editor, “Investing in Artistic Creators, Not Buildings” was published in the New York Times this week. Her response to Michael Kimmelman’s article, “A Dazzling Arts Haven Blossoms at Ground Zero” (Critic’s Notebook, front page, Sept. 14) was in the Sept. 27th online edition and the Sept. 28th print edition of the Opinions section. Her letter is below.
Investing in Artistic Creators, Not Buildings
To the Editor:
Re “A Dazzling Arts Haven Blossoms at Ground Zero,” by Michael Kimmelman (Critic’s Notebook, front page, Sept. 14):
As dazzling as the Perelman Performing Arts Center is — and it is truly dazzling — Mr. Kimmelman’s comment that the building itself cost “enough to support who knows how many existing community organizations around the city for who knows how many years” struck me as the story of America’s perpetual disregard of the arts.
The building always comes first, followed by whatever potpourri of productions the owners can scrabble together to put inside it. Can we never begin the investment with the people, the artistic creators themselves? Is it always because the donors need an edifice on which to implant his or her name?
America doesn’t believe in financing the arts; America believes the arts are a business and should finance itself.
The Times recently ran an article saying that our theaters are in crisis, as is our creative community in general. When are we going to finance the creators instead of the buildings?
The writer is a professor of directing at the U.S.C. School of Cinematic Arts and chair of the Alliance of Women Directors.