Thursday, April 19, 2007

John Tusa speaks out

John Tusa, the chief of the Barbican Centre and one of the biggest, most intelligent, heavyweight, tell-it-like-it-is visionaries in British arts administration, has an important article in The Times today about how sick he is of mealy-mouthed government arts policy, the 'meddling bureaucrats' who make the rules, and the idiotic justifications that are constantly demanded for continued support - usually at pathetically low levels - of our world-class cultural institutions.

Here's an extract:

"...I’m sick to death, too, with justifying the arts as if there was something specially problematical about doing so, as if funding the arts is irrational or even unnatural. Thinking about the arts, judging their value, explaining particular trends in the arts — this is an essential part of a human activity that takes itself seriously. What is a waste of time is being required to justify the arts as if millennia of arts activity required justifying anew, as if a failure to justify them could — or should — lead to the end of the activity altogether..."

Read the whole thing here.

Meanwhile, The Guardian the other day ran an article about how 35 per cent of opera chorus singers suffer from 'wet burping'.