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Culture for the Country Folk

Sidebar by Martha Quillen

Art – December 1994 – Colorado Central Magazine

Funded by donations and bequests from individuals, families, corporations, and communities, foundations earnestly filter money from those who have it to those who don’t, and by doing so, they get to decide who is worthy and who isn’t.

Recently, rural communities appear to be increasingly worthy.

This focus on smaller communities seems to be part of not merely a national, but an international trend.

In February’s Art News magazine, an article tells about farmers in southern France who weren’t altogether thrilled to have modern art sprout amidst their fields.

But the Centre d’Art Contemporain de Vassiviere en Limousin was made possible by a mandate from the Mitterand government to decentralize artistic activity. And thus, the Ministry of Culture asked for an art center in a “culturally undeveloped area.”

This idea of spreading culture into isolated backwaters may be a prime motivation for funding art in rural places. But that’s probably not the only reason.

So what do you think? Are a lot of those people who are making grant decisions hoping to move to the country?