The art of cashing in

THE ECONOMY of Salzburg, like that of New York City, is directly linked to the arts. Similarly, the marketing and promotion efforts of large global corporations rest in large part on their participation in and funding of the arts.

What could be more fitting, therefore, in this era of drastic international cutbacks in arts funding, than to gather in the small 18th-century castle of Schloss Leopoldskron, former home of Count Laktanz, one of the first patrons of Mozart, and of Max Reinhardt, the celebrated theatre director who co-founded the Salzburg Festival, to discuss the economics of the arts.

The marketing of Mozart in concert with the Salzburg music festival represents almost dollars 30m ( pounds 20m) to this Austrian city.

The New York metropolitan area has also found that art exists not just for art's sake. A study commissioned by the city found that in 1992 the arts and related cultural events generated nearly dollars 10bn in economic activity in the region and accounted for more than 100,000 jobs. New York gained dollars 3.5bn in arts-generated wages, salaries and royalties.

As the New York Times observed: 'The arts are clearly a major economic sector . . . their health should be treated with care.'

The facts are otherwise, however, as London's orchestras can attest in their fight for funds to survive. Public funding for the arts in the US, Europe and Asia has been declining for almost a decade, and arts organisations everywhere are contracting, merging and disappearing. This is a time of 'Solomon's choices', particularly in eastern and central Europe and the former Soviet Union. Even such national treasures as the Bolshoi Ballet and the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg are struggling. There has been a 'fire sale' of artistic crown jewels, as individuals and institutions chase scarce foreign exchange. State officials, trying to negotiate standby agreements with the International Monetary Fund, have little time for the arts.

Enter the corporation. Marilyn Laurie, senior vice- president and director of public relations for AT&T in addition to heading its foundation, reports that only a few artists will strike it rich. The private sector can never replace public-sector funding for the arts or even 'pick up the slack' when public funds shrink.

Put bluntly, corporations are interested first and foremost in enhancing their images and influence. If this also meets society's needs, that is well and good. In Ms Laurie's words: 'AT&T seeks an intersection between its corporate interests and society's needs.' It does so by forging partnerships with arts organisations that fit the bill - by outright cash grants and contributions, sponsorship of big events, and 'in-kind' donations of products and time. It dispenses approximately dollars 50m annually for events as diverse as the MacNeil-Lehrer news hour on US public television and a large David Hockney exhibition in London and Los Angeles. This is big money, but it is budget-driven - based on profits and therefore no replacement for public-sector funding.

Mobil Corporation has a similar story to tell. Its corporate philanthropy budget is dollars 32m annually, of which art and culture account for 46 per cent. The rest goes to education, healthcare and other social causes. Mary Springer, a senior Mobil official, points to a big exhibition of Indonesia's art treasures in Washington to illustrate what motivates her company's giving. The sponsorship and exhibit were initiated by a request from Indonesia's foreign minister. Mobil has extensive oil exploration interests in Indonesia and was interested in gaining access to as many influential Indonesians as possible. The exhibit accomplished this as well as providing cultural and educational benefits to thousands of people.

US corporations spent dollars 720m on philanthropic activities in 1992, up sharply from dollars 190m in 1986. However, the rate of growth is slowing dramatically during a period when public funds are also drying up. Recently, Europe and Asia have moved closer to the US model, but corporate giving is still very small in Europe and Asia. It is not likely to rise dramatically unless there are significant changes in tax laws. Given the economic activity generated by the arts, such changes seem long overdue.

Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

The benefits of being in Recruitment at SThree...

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: SThree, International Recruitme...

Test Analyst - UAT - Credit Risk

£280 - £300 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Test Analyst, Edinburgh, Credit Ris...

Trainee Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little