Despite the unnecessarily exasperated tone of the post, I think this is an excellent point.
The fact of the matter is, some of the most untouchable financial institutions in the country are in serious jeopardy. Lehman is filing for bankruptcy. Merrill Lynch is being sold to Bank of America. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are being taken over by the government. AIG is seeking a loan from the Federal Reserve.
How is this going to affect the arts? Here's some potential problems I can see. But it's something we should all be talking about.
One quick example is your day job. If you've got one, you're probably wondering how this will affect you. I know mine has to do with planned giving and investments. Which means we're directly affected by the markets. I'm also vested in our retirement plan, and that's, of course, invested.
I've got friends employed by hedge funds and other financial institutions. I'm sure they're reading the papers.
But even if you don't work directly in a market driven field, the ripple affect will hit you. When the middle class has less free income, restaurants suffer, retail suffers, the prices at the pump and at the grocery store will go up. Thousands are going to lose their jobs.
All this is happening as arts organizations struggle for a tiny piece of a tinier pie.
If you're an artist in NYC, you know how carefully you need to live in order to keep afloat here. But artists outside of NYC are likely in the housing market and drive more often. I'm sure they're not having an easy time of it.
So... what are you fearing and seeing as the economic staggers? How will it affect the arts? And what can we do about it?
- Matthew Freeman is a Brooklyn based playwright with a BFA from Emerson College. His plays include THE DEATH OF KING ARTHUR, REASONS FOR MOVING, THE GREAT ESCAPE, THE AMERICANS, THE WHITE SWALLOW, AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR, THE MOST WONDERFUL LOVE, WHEN IS A CLOCK, GLEE CLUB, THAT OLD SOFT SHOE and BRANDYWINE DISTILLERY FIRE. He served as Assistant Producer and Senior Writer for the live webcast from Times Square on New Year's Eve 2010-2012. As a freelance writer, he has contributed to Gamespy, Premiere, Complex Magazine, Maxim Online, and MTV Magazine. His plays have been published by Playscripts, Inc., New York Theatre Experience, and Samuel French.