An appreciation of art is one of the things that make life worthwhile, as it reminds people of the beauty that is all around them. Therefore in many countries public art projects such as galleries, museums and concert halls are being actively funded by the government. Although such spending will indeed promote citizens’ cultural spirit as well as strengthen a country’s historic tradition, I do not think this should be the priority responsibility of a government. I would like to point out one particular area to which the government should be giving more financial support, and that is sports and recreational facilities.
To begin with, compared with art facilities, recreational facilities such as swimming pools and playgrounds are much more essential to people’s daily life. Not everyone has a talent or interest in art. To most people, art is something lofty and even elusive, which takes a great amount of cultural knowledge and fine taste to truly understand and appreciate. But doing sports or exercises is much easier and therefore much more popular among the general public. Anyone can easily find a particular type of exercise that fits his/her physical condition and age.
Secondly, art facilities are generally much more expensive to establish. A modern concert hall often requires elaborate decoration, comfortable seats, exquisite lighting and top-notch sound rendering system. With the same amount of investment, the government can perhaps build more than a dozen playgrounds with inexpensive but easy-to-use exercising equipment.
Furthermore, once a museum or a concert hall is established, it usually charges a high admission fee in order to sustain its daily operation and to fund ambitious projects or performances. But in the meantime they are turning away many ordinary but genuine art lovers who may not be able to afford an expensive visit. By comparison, public recreational facilities run by the government are meant to be used by the general public at a low cost, and therefore much more accessible to people with limited financial means.
Therefore, the government should try all means to make art available to all instead of being the possession of only the few. Before this can be ensured, I think the government should always place the funding and construction of recreational facilities before art facilities.