Monday, November 30, 2009

Culture shock

Only a Wellington newspaper could have a column called Meet the Mandarins but given the closed nature of the public sector‘s art divisions, such a column can reveal priorities not easily unravelled from the day-to-day bureaucratic communications. For the Ministry for Culture and Heritage – whose CE Lewis Holden was this weekend’s guest in the DomPost – those priorities do not include the visual arts. Of course when it comes to having his photo taken Lewis plonks himself down in front of an art work, but in describing the priorities of his Ministry he tells us they advise Government on how to divi up the $256 mill available to culture between, “the ballet, the symphony orchestra, television, radio and sport.” New Zealand culture, gotta love it. Oh and for the record, they also fund Creative New Zealand.
Image: a lemon. Sorry, couldn’t find a mandarin