Arts Philanthropy Is Losing Out

Unfortunately, big-ticket philanthropy is in the middle of a protracted sea change that is already having a direct effect on the arts. Thirteen years ago, the Journal reported that younger new-money donors were increasingly choosing to give it not to fine-arts organizations but to humanitarian causes like AIDS research and education reform. In 2013, Bill Gates put his seal of moral approval on this new tendency by declaring in an interview with the Financial Times that donating money “to build a new wing for a museum rather than spend it on preventing illnesses that can lead to blindness” was, in his words, “slightly barbaric.” – The Wall Street Journal [paywall]

Arts Philanthropy Is Losing Out

Unfortunately, big-ticket philanthropy is in the middle of a protracted sea change that is already having a direct effect on the arts. Thirteen years ago, the Journal reported that younger new-money donors were increasingly choosing to give it not to fine-arts organizations but to humanitarian causes like AIDS research and education reform. In 2013, Bill Gates put his seal of moral approval on this new tendency by declaring in an interview with the Financial Times that donating money “to build a new wing for a museum rather than spend it on preventing illnesses that can lead to blindness” was, in his words, “slightly barbaric.” – The Wall Street Journal [paywall]

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