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Martha Mason, Snappy Dance, checking in

Posted by Geoff Edgers  September 24, 2008 02:17 PM

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Martha Mason, of the late dance company, checks in with a letter...

Hi Geoff,

Interesting article.

Instead of wasting money on some conservative and unoriginal study such as that done last spring, The Boston Foundationís money might have been better put to use by investing in a study of successful, vibrant cultural cities (excluding NYC), such as Philadelphia, researching the practices of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and its efficiency of support for dance companies and other small performing arts organizations, to figure out how we can learn from them and implement the same advances in Greater Boston.

No, we donít have the major foundations that contribute money to our arts council, but thereís a vicious cycle here. Maybe they are not inspired to give. So the creative problem is, how do they get inspired to donate the big bucks? TBF could be spending their thinking on that as well. Donít you agree?

When TBF report came out last Spring, I mentioned it to the Quebec cultural ambassador to NYC, as we were at a conference together. He replied that Quebec had just conducted a similar study and come to the equal conclusion that there was not enough money for small arts organizations. However, instead of suggesting they fold or merge, they came to the opposite solution. That these small organizations must NOT be valued monetarily, but for the quality of life they provide the region, and therefore they needed to put their energy into figuring out HOW to get them that much-needed money.

I was happy to get todayís announcement by the Boston Dance Alliance that they are offering two $6,000 development and retreat grants per year for the next four years. Thatís big progress! Iím sorry itís too late for us, but itís great for the community.

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Martha Mason

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About Exhibitionist Geoff Edgers covers arts news for The Boston Globe..
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