February 09, 2009

artists respond to Senator McCain

Joseph Hayes writes:

This was my response to Senator McCain -

Senator McCain,

You asked, "Tell me how [the arts] creates any significant number of jobs?"

I am one, independent playwright. I get no funding from corporations, I am affiliated with no large theater. What funding I've ever received has come from state arts foundations. Since 2002, I have had 18 productions and readings of my plays.

As a writer in midcareer, I have yet to hit any large theaters with my work, the plays being done in small, regional theaters across the country. But since 2002, I calculate that my writing has created 107 roles for actors, 30+ musicians, a couple of hundred sound, light and stagecraft people. My plays have sold more than 2,000 tickets
(remember, these are very small venues), not to
mention the benefit the theaters and local
businesses have garnered from the audiences apart from ticket sales, in the babysitter economy, the restaurant economy, the parking garage economy.

That's the jobs I have personally generated. If there was national funding available for me, larger productions would follow. If national funding for the arts was available to the people I connect with in my art, they could in turn generate more jobs for other people.

The arts is a vital job, and more importantly, career generator.

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