A “vibrant arts scene” is predicated on demand for the arts in question. But what if demand doesn’t exist? Can a foundation artificially generate interest when a city’s affluent tech population would rather camp out for the new iPhone X than go to the opera?
These questions capture the state of the arts in the Bay Area and San Francisco in particular. It’s not pretty, and according to Jason Ditzian writing in Bold Italic, it’s going to get worse before it gets better—if it ever gets better. Which it probably won’t.
And why won’t it get better? First, funders like the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation—more on them in a second—can only do so much. And second, a year and a half after the demise of the Silicon Valley Ballet and the associated handwringing from the region’s arts proponents, techies still aren’t into the arts, and probably never will be.