Letter: Save the arts

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The Independent Online
IT IS excellent to see The Independent instigating a campaign for the arts, so urgently needed at the moment.

There is one important proviso however: funds gathered either from sponsorship or through tax deduction tend to benefit the established and the conservative. It is essential, even if your initiative is successful, that pressure for strong public subsidy continues, otherwise the original and adventurous will suffer. With remarkable exceptions, the circumstances regarding contemporary music in the USA - and the impoverished position of the National Endowment for the Arts there - should be a warning against placing too much faith in private donations as the source of long-term creative development.

GEORGE BENJAMIN

Artistic consultant, Sounding the Century

BBC

London W1

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