May 2, 2012 9:07AM

Should Government Fund the Arts?

The New York Times asks how “we” should fund the arts, suggesting for instance a 1.5 percent payroll tax, as they have in Brazil. I answered a slightly different question:

What do art, music, and religion have in common? They all have the power to touch us in the depths of our souls. As one theater director said, “Art has power. It has the power to sustain, to heal, to humanize … to change something in you. It’s a frightening power, and also a beautiful power.…And it’s essential to a civilized society.”

Which is precisely why art, music, and religion should be kept separate from the state.

Full column here. More writing on the separation of arts and state here.