Copyright 1999 The New York Times
The New York Times
August 16, 1999, Monday, Late Edition
SECTION: Section A; Page 18; Column 6; Editorial Desk
HEADLINE: Policy Can Help Arts
To the Editor:
Alice Goldfarb Marquis (Op-Ed, Aug.
9) argues that we don't need a "national policy" for arts
and culture because they are too diverse and amorphous and because
there are plenty of signs of increasing support for them.
But diversity can be, and often is, the explicit goal of cultural
policy. Moreover, we cannot assume that a laissez-faire approach
is the best way to insure variety. For example, left on its own,
the film industry is likely to consolidate, which may in fact
limit the variety and scope of available movies.
Also, the "robustness" of the arts does not signal a need to
ignore cultural policy. It is precisely during such periods of
rapid growth and change that informed policy making is essential.
Increased investment and robust activity should be a clarion call
for more, not less, policy research.
STEVEN JAY TEPPER
Princeton, N.J., Aug. 12, 1999
The writer is associate director of the Princeton
University Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies.