The US isn't the only Country holding an election. There happens to be one to the north of us. Interestingly, when we compare how the arts are fairing when comparing the two nations campaigns… so far Canada is winning 1-0. That deafening sound you hear in the US is the complete LACK of public discussion about the arts.
Granted, we have a few major issues that just might take priority (2 Wars and a complete economic melt down) but with all the advances made in our country to elevate the arts in the political discussion you would think at least one policy initiative would pop up.
But for now… let's contemplate the Canadian plan:
(CEP News) Ottawa – Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper says if he is re-elected next month, he will bring in a new children's arts tax credit and expand the reach of the Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP).
Harper told an Ottawa news conference he will provide the same kind of tax treatment for arts training that the government already offers families with children involved in sports programs.
In addition, he said the new arts tax credit and the fitness tax credit will be made fully refundable so lower income families will receive cash payments if their incomes are too low to qualify for tax credits.
"Giving working families a break is one of the most important Conservative priorities," Harper said.
The prime minister also promised to expand the RESP program to allow charities and not-for-profit organizations to establish savings plans for children from low-income families in partnership with parents.
I am not sure tax credits is a substitute for – let's say – providing universal access to arts education in schools…. but you have to start somewhere!