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I’m all in favor of supporting fancy museums and elite schools, but face it: These aren’t really charities as most people understand the term. They’re often investments in the life-styles the wealthy already enjoy and want their children to have as well. Increasingly, being rich in America means not having to come across anyone who’s not.They’re also investments in prestige – especially if they result in the family name engraved on a new wing of an art museum, symphony hall, or ivied dorm.
“We’re the only major art museum in the world that has recourse neither to mandatory admissions or significant government funding,” he said, pointing out that both the Smithsonian in Washington and the Louvre in Paris receive considerable public support. The Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim already charge $25 — though, unlike the Met, they are not in city-owned buildings nor supported by taxpayer dollars.
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One does not want to post RIM here, where there might even be Koch defenders
I wonder how many here, attempting to accumulate wealth for selves and future, have grandchildren.
(A Lot of people benefited from his donations)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
New York-Presbyterian Hospital
New York State Theater at Lincoln Center
New York City Ballet.
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History
Museum of Natural History in DC.
M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
The Hospital for Special Surgery in New York
American Museum of Natural History, New York
Johns Hopkins University
it will provide insight into 'well spent' money across the government, education and culture.
Center for Public Integrity / Dave Levinthal , How the Koch Brothers Are Influencing U.S. Colleges
I also think it is precisely such "artsy" things local governments don't want to pay for, even though they can have great cultural, educational and spiritual value to some people. I would compare donating to these museums favorably to for instance a rich person buying a Picasso and locking it up in a vault somewhere or in their house where no one else can see it. That happens too. The opera on the other hand I do not believe offers free admission so I feel differently about it. Cancer hospitals I think are also worthwhile causes. My point is none of this giving cancels out the far greater harm this person has done to our planet. In fact, it is rather ironic that Koch was such a big donor to cancer research and hospitals because fossil fuels and pollution are major causes of that terrible disease. I also think the Sacklers' giving to museums doesn't cancel out the ravages of the opiod crisis in the U.S. today.
Citing NYC museum admission policies, and the Met's in particular, was not the best example one might have come up with. The Met sits on public land; as a condition of that public gift, it is required to offer free admission. Until recently, "free" was interpreted as requiring at least a penny's payment from all visitors. But in early 2018, the Met started limiting "free" admission to only those visitors who could prove they were NYS residents. (Ironic that your link was to a tourist site.)
MoMA and the Guggenheim suffer no such constraints. Consequently, they charge visitors full freight; no "pay what you want" policy for them.https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/04/arts/design/met-museum-admissions.html
To add to the matter of NYC, the Cooper Hewitt museum, a NYC branch of the usually free Smithsonian charges mandatory admission (except for three hours of "pay what you want" once a week). And the Met implemented the mandatory fee for out-of-towners in part because NYC had decided to spread its art dollars around more widely to enhance diversity. So NYC at least is not a local government unwilling to pay for "artsy" things. It's just more interested in supporting the arts more broadly than wealthy donors tend to do.
Public funding for the arts is always threatened by Republicans and sometimes Democrats who will often claim it's a waste of money. The NEA has been under threat by the GOP now for decades. New York is a very liberal city so I assume there will be funding earmarked for culture, but the U.S. is not New York. One could argue if the wealthy were taxed appropriately, there would be enough funding for the arts, although I have a feeling there would still be a claim that it was an "inefficient" use of public funds in many local governments. It is an unfortunate reality that museums today often need wealthy benefactors to keep them going. I am surprised and disappointed to hear that the Met has changed its policies. That wasn't my experience when I went there. MOMA has long charged an arm and a leg to get in though. Interestingly, Koch didn't give to MOMA. I could see him hating modern art and preferring classical portraits of kings and queens.