I just returned from the YMCA. Now, I don’t own a TV. Maybe an odd admission from a guy who claims to produce popular music, but that’s a subject for another day.
As it turned out, the elliptical machine I ended up on was aimed at a TV set featuring CNN. The big news? Check it out:
Synopses: Casino magnate Steve Wynn bought Le Reve by Picasso for $15 million. He stuck his elbow through it, had it repaired, and sold it to hedge fund Quadzullianaire Steve Cohen for $155 million. Hey, we live in the land of opportunity.
But wait, there’s more. Steve Cohen’s company, SAC Capital, just settled with the federal government for $616,000,000.00 (yup, 616 million dollars), for doing something funky, so Steve, I guess, just thought he’d go out and buy himself something nice to celebrate.
Which got me to thinking, it’s a great thing to support the arts.
It’s also a “thing” to support the ego, and buying a famous piece of artwork for $155 mil, and putting it in your private collection… well, a person could make a case for claiming that was ego driven.
My little corner of the arts revolves mainly around independent musicians. These musicians, not unlike a young Pablo Picasso, struggle to create beautiful work, and hopefully get paid for that work.
I thought about how that $155 million might support the arts in my neighborhood, so I took a look at a very generous budget of $20,000.00 for a young band’s first EP, promotion, and tour. Here’s how the dream budget might break down:
Record, produce, mix, and master a 4-6 song EP $10,000.00
Press CDs, build website, graphics design $ 2,500.00
Hire a publicist, support a tour, more $ 7,500.00
20 grand, right? And there’s plenty of bands and solo artists who could do it in style for a lot less.
Seven Thousand Seven Hundred Fifty endowments of $20,000.00 in that $155 mil. Yup.
Something like that would support the arts in a substantial, ground breaking. paradigm shifting way. Maybe hire back a few laid off music teachers, too… just thinking out loud here.
You know, Mr. Cohen can do whatever he wants with his money (and evidently does just that), that’s his choice to make. Still I’d like to dream about a world where we help each other out, which is truly the ultimate selfish act, because… we’ll all be the better for it.