Why funding arts is smart philanthropy

It's hard to argue with clean water but the best philanthropy deals with issues before they become problems with debate, new ideas, imagination, and surprise. The arts provide that.
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Johnny Lemibanda teaches his Grandson Mick Marimowa how to paint in the Children’s Ground arts space. Alfie Naborlhborlh works in the background. Image: Dominic O’Brien

During the recent Melbourne Writer’s Festival, ethicist Peter Singer, artist Robyn Archer and arts manager Pippa Dickson debated the topic “Is Funding the Arts doing Good?”. It was a curious exchange in which Singer’s absolute position of  ‘effective altruism’ in the philanthropic space was argued in a comparative context in which definitions and expertise seemed as elusive as the ethics on which it was based.

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David Pledger
About the Author
Dr David Pledger is an artist, curator and writer.