Read the following dialogue and discuss the after-dialogue questions.
A: In my view, government money shouldn’t be used to support the Arts.
B: I’m afraid I can’t agree. Public support for the Arts is the hallmark of a civilized society where people enjoy freedom of thought and expression.
A: Those are very nice sounding words, but look ... when we visit Art Galleries in other countries, we usually have to pay to go in, but when foreigners come to Britain, they’re subsidized by the British tax-payer. They can enter the National Gallery and the British Museum without paying a penny.
B: I think you’re straying from the main point which is the access of British people to their artistic heritage whether they’re rich or poor. If this also makes Britain more attractive for overseas visitors, so well and good. What’s wrong with creating a few more jobs in the tourist industry? Think of all the money that’s spent in the souvenir shops of these galleries and museums.
A: Well you might as well argue that the government should subsidize all shops. I’m saying that it’s the British tax-payer who pays the bill.
B: You misunderstand me! I’m talking about national institutions, centers of culture which represent the best of Britain’s historical and artistic treasures.
A: That’s highly debatable. Some of the exhibits you see from contemporary artists are no more than tins of baked beans or piles of bricks.
B: I’m afraid you’re just trying to prove a general point by quoting extreme examples. Of course, not every artistic creation will be to everybody’s taste. The Arts can never take new directions without risks. Both the impressionist painters and Picasso took risks.
A: But in the real world, if people want to take risks, they should do so at their own expense. They should either find private sponsors or sympathetic bank managers. Why should other people pay for the exhibition of junk which nobody wants?
B: To come back to the main point, this isn’t only about contemporary experimental art. I’m talking about the appreciation of great masterpieces which have been acknowledged for centuries.
Ø Discussion questions
1. Do you think that the tax payer should have to support the Arts? For example, why should a football fan have to pay for opera?
2. Does your country have any well-known artists who are famous for cinema, theatre, literature, ballet, opera, classical music or painting?
3. What are your ‘top three’ art forms from the above list? Explain the reasons for your order of preference.
4. In what ways were you encouraged appreciating the Arts at home and at school? What jobs in the Arts world would be suitable for you?
5. Which country would you visit to appreciate the Arts? What would you plan to see?
Theatre / Cinema / TV / Music
1. Read the lines of a comic vaudeville ‘Romantic Fools’ by Rich Orloff.
(A Man and a Woman address the audience. Each points to the other as they say)
Man: ‘Why do women act the way they do?’ At some point every man ponders this question, gives up, and decides to focus on something simpler, like quantum physics.
Woman: ‘Why do men act the way they do?’ Since the beginning of time, scholars have asked this question, resulting in volumes upon volumes of man-written crap.
Man: Women make me feel – and that’s the problem. And yet, on the other hand… Individually, men and women are complex, dynamic and compelling.
Woman: Compared to amoebas.
Man: However, put men and women together –
Woman: And wear protective goggles.
Man: I mean, it’s not like I haven’t tried a rewarding, meaningful, interpersonal, nurturing – you know, all that kind of crap – relationship with a woman. I’ve been out with women who are repressed, flirtatious, maternal and needy. And I still haven’t found the right woman for me. And sometimes I wonder if I ever will.
Woman: I mean, it’s not like I haven’t tried to have an emotionally rewarding, sexually satisfying relationship with a man who doesn’t lie abut his marital status. I’ve been out with men who are meek, assertive, stoned, and sexually ambiguous. And sometimes I come from a date –
Man: I look in the mirror and say –
Woman: ‘Lori, buy a puppy.’
2. What word or phrase is being defined?
1. A play or film in which part of the story is sung to music.
2. The total number of actors in play or film.
3. The people who watch the play at the theatre.
4. What these people do with their hands at the end of a play.
5. The person who makes a film.
6. Journalists who write about films and plays.
7. The name of the articles they write.
8. The translation of the story of a film across the bottom of the screen.
9. To reserve tickets before the performance.
10. The most important actors or actresses of a film.