In comparing the European attitude of supporting the arts, there is a distinct difference between that of the United States and France. During my time here in Paris, I have been able to see different aspects of that in how governmental politics intersect with daily life. In looking at the structure of how art is supported fiscally, we were able to see a variety of state-run institutions. These include massive opera houses and symphony halls, in addition to the many museums and smaller exhibits led by artists around Paris.
I was able to learn about this support through the figure I was assigned to study, Emmanuel Macron. He believes that the arts can be used as an educational factor to bridge divides and prevent extremism. I think he holds this belief to the wide perspectives art can cover in its variety of forms. We saw this component in education through the variety of ticket discounts for those under 25 and for school groups. In most of the museums I would say there were more students visiting than tourists. The result of this added education is a greater respect for the arts. This is something I wish was more emphasized in my education growing up. I was lucky enough to grow up in a household that placed value on going to museums and live performances. However, many of my peers were not afforded the same opportunities.
Taking dance classes
Another aspect of arts patronage I have found interesting is those who follow dance. In the dance shows we have watched, there is a large percent of the audience that are not currently dancers. This is different from some shows I’ve attended in the States where many dancers come out to see the show.
I have also been able to take open dance classes, and the atmosphere here is also different. There is a wider demographic of dancers taking class, almost all for pleasure. I would say the trend in the US is when dancers change professions or quit, they often cut dance out. Many young adults I’ve talked to have mentioned that when they realized they did not want to dance professionally, they completely quit. I wish there was more emphasis placed on taking dance for fun in the States.