The Dangers Of An Artificial Support Base To Arts And Sports

All communities have to at least a certain degree a spirit of local patriotism or pride that seeks to champion a local arts or sports scene. Indeed, wanting to patronize locally created arts and sports teams is one of the most healthy behaviors a community can show. Where problems come along is when the super wealthy, the large corporations, and other entities outside of the community start funneling in large amounts of money to bolster a chosen few of these organizations and particularly when they start investing tens or hundreds of millions of dollars into physical structures to house these chosen arts and sports entities that could not on their own ever afford such physical structures. The artificiality this creates harms the local, or “organic”, arts and sports scenes by creating the impression that enormous facilities are just given to an effort, whether or not the underlying financial resources of that effort could sustain them on their own, and it makes it seem like local support at the grass-roots is not necessary to the arts or sports scene.

The grant funded, giant arts and sports organizations load down the community with financial burdens that are not immediately obvious. Consider a 80,000 square ft. facility to house a ballet company and school in a downtown area. A dilapidated building or blighted site is picked and then tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars go into constructing the new edifice that does improve the surrounding area by removing the blight or dilapidated structure. But then come the ongoing and permanent monthly operating costs. An approximately $30,000 per month electric cost, which would be a $360,000 yearly cost that may or may not be paid for by the organizations own funding, is now permanently associated with that facility. It may very well be subsidized by the local utility which then massages everyone else’s electric bills so that the utility does not take a direct hit. This may not seem like much, and by itself it’s not in terms of a burden on the community, but the logic of it definitely carries ethical entanglements that cannot be escaped. And that is just one example of how the subsidized organization warps the overall community and local economy in such a way that the community becomes slightly less able to see the need to consciously support the local arts or sports scene. This leads to the infantizing of a community such that the community cannot, at the grass roots, handle cultural or sports affairs and soon afterwards, the handling of things like the local education system or law enforcement becomes too difficult as well.

Another example are sports stadiums that take $400 to $500 Million to build or remodel. Many times the baseball, football or soccer team that uses the stadium as home base could not ever afford that level of expenditure, but when a city passes bond issues and tax increases and giant corporations write a check to build them, the warping effects again takes hold. Everyone at first says that such efforts are great for the community except the community then looks at the structure itself and not the underlying sports teams which may need a lot of other types of work and support to prosper 먹튀검증. In lieu of this, the regional sports scene, and the same happens in the arts scene too, withers away until only the large organization using the mega facility is left and that is not a healthy way for a community to work. Indeed this is the original type of “out sourcing” where the responsibility and benefit of a community doing its level best to create and run a football or soccer team or ballet company organically gets changed into the entitlement-type mentality that a mega corporation or city fathers will cough up the multi-millions to build a better Colosseum.

When the outsourcing of the means to sustain arts and sports teams occurs, the spirit of patronizing local, organically created arts and sports with wide-spread participation by a community goes instead to the boards of experts or mega-rich “patrons” who prefer it if the overall community not think too critically or delve into philosophy with sports and arts. Instead the community just trusts that the experts know best and will take care of it.

A thriving arts and sports scene should not be dependent on mega-donors and groups of elites deciding what will be done. Go out and patronize your local arts organizations and sports teams that do NOT receive mega funding and the overall health of your community will start improving!

One of the major factors militating against the development of sports in Nigeria today is lack of effective management. A lot of solutions are being proffered by concerned and patriotic Nigerians daily to bail us out the quagmire. One of such solutions is this text entitled “Modern Trends in Sports Administration and Management”. It is written by Dr. Joseph Awoyinfa, a lecturer in the Department of Human Kinetics and Health Education, Faculty of Education, University of Lagos, Nigeria; a researcher and educational consultant. I was the person invited by the author and the university to review the book when it was presented to the public on December 4, 2008 in Nigeria.

According to Awoyinfa, it is a truism all over the world that sport is now a reference issue which can no longer be ignored at various sectors of the economy and spheres of life. The author adds that this text thus takes a critical look at topical issues in sports administration and management, dwelling on theories and principles of modern trends in sports administration and management such as leadership, organisation, planning, motivation, etc.

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